Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.596027
Title: The celebrity gossip column and newspaper journalism in Britain, 1918-1939
Author: Newman, Sarah Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2506 4043
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
This thesis analyses the content, tone, form and authorship of the national newspaper gossip column 1918-1939, as a new means through which the qualities of the popular press in this period can be more closely defined. Often dismissed as an example of the sensational, Americanization of early twentieth-century popular culture, the celebrity gossip column has been loosely grouped with the friendly, informal language and bolder formatting of the ‘New Journalism’ of the late nineteenth century and the development of the dramatic ‘human-interest’ stories of ‘everyday life’ in the interwar period (LeMahieu, 1988; Wiener, 1988). Through a comparative study of six newspapers including the Daily Express, Daily Mail and News of the World, I analyse the changing representation of the celebrity subject, and, originally, the shifting character and persona of the gossip columnist. Whereas some historians have analysed the content of newspapers without considering the questions of the newspaper’s production, I analyse newspaper employment records, gossip columnists’ memoirs and their unpublished letters and diaries to define the specific economic, social and cultural circumstances which, I argue, influenced their public portrayal. Also, in examining the unpublished correspondence between editors, proprietors and columnists and the burgeoning print culture of journalistic training manuals and professional memoirs, I provide a history of the press’s professionalization in this period. The national popular press has often been used as a historical source to define national character and national identity in the interwar period (Bland, 2008; Kohn, 1992). By scrutinizing the content and production of the gossip column and particularly the class, behaviour, interactions and subject matter of the columnist, I argue that the gossip column presented a version of ‘Britishness’ that was not so inward-looking and domesticated as so many accounts of interwar Britain suggest.
Supervisor: Houlbrook, Matt Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.596027  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economic and Social History ; History of art and visual culture ; Modern Britain and Europe ; Social status ; Women ; Employment ; Social mobility ; News media,journalism,publishing ; Gender ; National identity ; Intergenerational relationships ; Celebrity Culture ; Popular Print Culture ; Interwar Britain ; Class
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