Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Pacific Scoop

New Zealand war correspondence before 1915

Volume 16, Issue 1

May, 2010

From page
133
to page
152
Oosterman, A. (2010). New Zealand war correspondence before 1915. Pacific Journalism Review, 16(1): 133-152.
Reporting Wars
Author(s): Allison Oosterman
Publication date: 
May, 2010

Little research has been published on New Zealand war correspondence but an assertion has been made in a reputable military book that the country has not established a strong tradition in this genre. To test this claim, the author has made a preliminary examination of war correspondence prior to 1915 (when New Zealand’s first official war correspondent was appointed) to throw some light on its early development. Because there is little existing research in this area much of the information for this study comes from contemporary newspaper reports. In the years before the appointment of Malcolm Ross as the nation’s official war correspondent, New Zealand newspapers clearly saw the importance of reporting on war, whether within the country or abroad and not always when it involved New Zealand troops. Despite the heavy cost to newspapers, journalists were sent around the country and overseas to cover conflicts. Two types of war correspondent are observable in those early years―the soldier journalist and the ordinary journalist plucked from his newsroom or from his freelance work. In both cases one could call them amateur war correspondents.