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Trumpets and Typewriters

on BBC One London

A History of War Reporting
For a journalist a war is the biggest of all stories. It is exciting, dangerous and, with skill and luck, it can make his career.
But it brings with it an awesome responsibility. W. H. Russell s reports for The Times of the blunders in the Crimean war so shocked the nation that they brought the government down. Everything in war, including reporting, is confusion. At times of crisis there may be many different versions of the truth: the journalist's, the General's, the politician's, the victor's, the vanquished ...
This film looks at some famous moments from the major wars of this century. Often the version of events given to the public at home bore only a passing relation to the truth as we now know it. The journalists involved talk of the pressures on them at the time and explain why sometimes they chose to censor themselves. As Tom Hopkinson , Editor of Picture Post, when Dunkirk fell, says: ' I realised at that moment that my task as an editor was not to tell the British public the truth.' Written and narrated by David Jessel
Executive producer TIM SLESSOR


W. H. Russell
Tom Hopkinson
David Jessel
Tim Slessor
Adam Curtis

BBC One London

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