UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Forward party : the Pall Mall gazette, 1865-1889 Andrews, Allen Robert Ernest


A number of books deal with the subject of the "Pall Mall Gazette", but none attempts to study in a scholarly way the journalistic, commercial and political evolution of this evening newspaper and review. Neither does the paper receive consideration In most of the official biographies and more common political works that deal with its age, even though the "P.M.G." often exerted an influence second only to that of "The Times". In addition, the "P.M.G." during its first twenty-four years provided a notable and continuous experiment in journalism. This study examines the "Pall Mall" through its first three editorships that extended from 1865 to 1889. Chapter I examines the journal under Frederick Greenwood, editor from the journal's founding until 1880. During this time the paper assumed a consciously impartial character which later gradually changed to a conservative coloration, though Greenwood never became a strict party man. Chapters II and III study the journal in the Radical garb it assumed during the editorship of John Morley, between 1880 and 1883. Chapters IV to VII are devoted to the Liberal-Radical "New Journalism" of William Thomas Stead, and Chapter VIII concludes. With the exception of Greenwood's editorship, for which material has been compiled from numerous memoirs and secondary works, the study draws its materials mainly from the daily record of the newspaper itself. Particular care has been taken to identify both permanent staff as well as contributors during the successive editorships and to relate them to the character of the paper. This activity has met with a good degree of success despite the fact that the paper's official files are lacking. The relation of the journal to other newspapers as well as to party thought are points that receive special attention, especially for the later editorships. The main emphasis remains on politics, but a general attempt is made in addition to relate the entire character of the journal to such a focus. Thus the ever-present literary ingredient is examined at some length. Finally, where monographic studies exist of given "crusades" undertaken during Stead's famous editorship, little attempt is made to retrace well-trodden ground. The present study makes a number of points about the various editorships of the paper. The pioneering work of Greenwood to establish the journalistic vehicle upon which Stead in turn built his "New Journalism," as well as the former's work to establish a strong tradition of independent journalism, are points that receive special emphasis. The study also stresses the "watershed" effect of Morley's short innings. His prestige and recruitment of staff aided the paper's recovery following its change of political banner, and girded it with inherent strengths upon which Stead both drew and built. Under Morley the "P.M.G." became recognized as the ablest supporter of Liberalism among the press. It also directly abetted the rise of the Radical leader, Joseph Chamberlain. The most impressive editorship remained that of Stead's, during which the paper succeeded in its efforts to revive the power of the press and attempted to establish its editor's aspiration of "Government by Journalism." In this way, the paper both preceded as well as guided investigation and legislation on many occasions to right outstanding social abuses. Concurrently, Stead's "Pall Mall" served as a means of educating the upper classes in many of the philosophies and movements that characterized the 'eighties, and that included Socialism in its various manifestations, the women's movement and the work of manifold secular arid religious organizations. The paper also attempted to exert a seminal influence upon Liberal thought, particularly in relation to imperialism and internationalism, and to a lesser extent, the question of Ireland. The "P.M.G." actively promoted programs in these fields in a number of instances. At all times the paper served as both bell-weather and friendly centre to the Liberal party. It was made all the more effective since it was the only newspaper of Liberal sentiment in the Metropolis that led active crusades. Its spirit directly reflected the moral ideals of its mentor, and was conspicuously broad, liberal and humanitarian. While Stead's "P.M.G." lasted, it was a remarkable example of much that was vital and admirable in late-Victorian Liberalism. Despite such a colorful and influential history, the "P.M.G." remained for the period of this study an uneconomic undertaking. This factor provided the motivation from which derived the paper's multitude of distinctive advances in journalistic technique.

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