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Title:'Does the daily paper rule Britannia': British press coverage of a Malawi Youth League demonstration in Blantyre, Nyasaland, in January 1960
Author:Coffey, Rosalind
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic terms:Malawi
Great Britain
Subjects:youth organizations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.1101819
Abstract:The British press, public and parliament are not generally thought to have played a significant role in the process of Britain's decolonisation in Africa. Neither do most studies of the broad British metropolitan experience foreground the importance of African nationalism. This article begins to challenge both of these views by providing an assessment of the significance of the British press's rather sensational treatment of an incident of late-colonial violence in the context of an African demonstration in Blantyre, Nyasaland, in 1960. African activists exploited the British press presence in Blantyre as a means of advancing the nationalist cause and fighting the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. British correspondents responded positively for a variety of ideological, political, personal, situational and institutional reasons. In addition, by 1960, the British press recognised the strength of African nationalism in the context of African violence and agitation across that continent in preceding months and years. Its critical articles, which interlocked with British parliamentary proceedings and specific sets of historical concerns, had important effects among two core readerships: sections of the white settler communities of the Federation, and the British Government. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]