A comparative and analytical study of news reportage of the Holocaust in The Times of London and the New York Times during the Second World War

  • Melissa Janda

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts by Research


    This thesis compares and analyses how news of the events now cumulatively known as the Holocaust were communicated to wartime readers of The Times (London) and The New York Times. The concept is original given the existence of secondary literature dealing with either British or American newspaper coverage, but with no comparative work examining both. For example, Laurel Leff’s 2005 publication ‘Buried By The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper’ and Andrew Sharf’s 1964 book ‘The British Press and Jews Under Nazi Rule’ provide individual accounts of press coverage of the Holocaust.

    Fundamentally, this thesis considers how news was presented through examining page placement in either newspaper, and questioning whether this was indicative of how significant Holocaust-related news was deemed to be by editors given the context of the Second World War. A number of other influential factors are also dealt with, for example the experience of atrocity stories in the First World War and the sheer incomprehensibility of a continent-wide, racial, exterminatory programme. Some journalistic notions, such as ‘above-the-fold’ and the use of ‘jump’ stories are also considered. Conclusions are drawn on the similarities and differences that existed between reportage of the Holocaust in the two newspapers, as well as how this reportage changed during the years 1939-1945.

    This research shows that news of Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ was communicated to newspaper audiences, but that these stories were not always afforded much column space and prominence because of a focus on war news. It is proven that Holocaust-related news did appear towards the front of both newspapers in some instances- occasionally in lengthy articles- refuting Leff’s claims that this news was ‘buried’ in The New York Times. It introduces possible further research into comparative studies of how news of the Holocaust was communicated to the Allied public via a variety of channels.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorFrank Magee (Supervisor) & Neil Forbes (Supervisor)


    • World War 2
    • newspapers
    • media coverage
    • Holocaust

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