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Title: Foreign news in colonial Algeria, 1881-1940
Author: Asseraf, Arthur
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 5488
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis looks at how news shaped people's relationship to the world in Algeria under French rule. This territory operated under an uncertain legal status that made it both a part of France and a colony, and within it lived a society divided between European settlers and Muslim natives. Accounts of recent events helped Algerians determine what was domestic and what was foreign in a place where those two notions were highly contested. Colonialism did not close Algeria off from the world or open it up, instead it created a particular geography. In a series of case-studies taken from across Algeria, this thesis investigates a wide range of types of news: manuscripts, rumours, wire dispatches, newspapers, illustrations, songs, newsreels, and radio broadcasts. It focuses on the period in which Algeria's legal status as part of France was most certain, from the end of the conquest and the consolidation of Republican rule in the 1880s to the outbreak of the Second World War. In this period, authorities thought the influence of outside events on Algeria was a bigger threat than disturbances within. Because of this, state surveillance produced reports to monitor foreign news, and these form the backbone of this study. But state attempts to manage the flow of news had unintended effects. Instead of establishing effective censorship, authorities ended up spreading news and making it more politically sensitive. Settlers, supposedly the state's allies, proved highly disruptive to state attempts to control the flow of information. Through a social history of information in a settler colonial society, this research reconsiders the relationship between changes in media and people's sense of community. From the telegraph to the radio, new technologies worked to divide colonial society rather than tying it together, and the same medium could lead to divergent senses of community.
Supervisor: McDougall, James Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council ; St Cross College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: News audiences ; Journalism--Algeria--History ; Information behavior ; Algeria--History--1830-1962 ; France--Colonies--Administration