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The London Daily Express proclaimed the maxim 'No War this Year' on its front pages as late as 7 August 1939. Newspaper historian Stephen Koss has suggested that the 'no war' slogan was a 'delusion' on the part of the proprietor, Lord Beaverbrook. Berlin chief correspondent, R. Selkirk Panton, was instrumental in ensuring that the policy line was observed through both his news stories and opinion pieces throughout 1938 and 1939. This paper aims to explore the extent to which Panton shared his employer's views, as well as tracing the divergent path of the Express from the rest of Fleet Street and Panton's position as a political outsider within the 'foreign press colony' of Berlin. Through the examination of several key stories during the last year before the outbreak of war, in his copy and personal correspondence, a critical evaluation of how Panton negotiated the space between the policy of the paper and the European crises on which he reported can be achieved.

Keywords: British press; Daily Express; Nazism; coming of WWII; editorial policy; foreign correspondents

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13688800802176912

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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