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Title: A comparative study of the Boer War conveyed in the 1901 political cartoons of Edward Linley Sambourne in Punch and Jean Veber in L'Assiette au Beurre
Author: Allison, Kate
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 854X
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2015
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Political cartoons as headline representation are in effect a combination of artistic licence and a critical version of the truth. Linley Sambourne and Jean Veber’s 1901 cartoons on the Boer War for Punch and L’Assiette au Beurre create tensions and dialectic not only on British and French feeling about foreign policy in South Africa and at home, but also indicate fine points on each publication’s editorial remit. This comparative study is a mirroring synthesis of these approaches that sets the Boer War forty five cartoons in context. Whereas Punch’s cartoons are set within a text layout and L’Assiette’s are the text themselves, both transmit set ideas on The Boer War as ‘sight bite’ news and opinion pieces. Veber’s cartoons offered swift knee-jerk reactions against the ruling elite and the horrors of British cruelty toward Boer prisoners as coverage of the war escalated in 1901. His extreme capturing of the zeitgeist followed the magazine’s editorial bent, but they also reflected his brave counter-hegemonic stance towards a French government seeking an alliance with its British counterpart. With this in mind, Antonio Gramsci’s theory on hegemony as applied to journalism allows the scholar to look at the media from a cultural perspective. This focus is used to show cartoons as representative of conflicts in the fight for power, but this time publicly conveyed to the readership. Thus, types of truth enhancements in each set of cartoons indicate the cartoonists’ respective entrenchment with, or detachment from, Imperial institutions, thereby signalling emerging attempts of the attitudinal persuasion of the reader toward Punch or L’Assiette’s political leanings. The inclusion of political cartoons in editorial pages was part of the cult of visual attention-grabbing news values that had become professionalised, industrialised and popularised by the early Twentieth Century. Cartoons can be decoded using Ernst Gombrich’s six-point filter in order to identify the cartoonist’s method of compressing messages about people and events. A publication’s politics are reflected in the telescoping of exaggerated opinions – an effective way to pass on an authoritatively saturated message to the readership. Gombrich recognised the power of conveying messages to the audience through seemingly incongruous placement of figures in odd situations within cartoons. His methodology acts as visual shorthand for images designed to elicit a desired response to a reported situation as the publication saw it. In the context of the history of journalism, his psychologically analytical approach is appropriate in the appreciation of cartoons’ extremes, often made more acute by the partisan politics of war.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: V253 Southern African History ; V145 Modern History 1900-1919 ; P500 Journalism