This is just a quick video offering some advice on how to pick a History dissertation topic for any final year students. These are just my tips. There are many like them. But these ones are just mine. Other people might have other suggestions or preferences – please feel free to add down below any tips you have that differ from mine.
Description of Video: Kristopher (me!) talks to the camera with the following timecodes appearing on screen as headings:
For 130 years, the Coventry Evening Telegraph has, in one form or another, served as the voice of Britain’s City of Culture. The Telegraph has charted, documented, and helped to shape the city’s history. But what was it like to tell the stories which made that made Coventry? In this short film, historians from Coventry University speak with former employees about life behind the scenes of the Telegraph, allowing them to share their stories and give a unique insight into one of the city’s defining institutions.
I was very pleased to be involved in the Coventry Evening Telegraph documentary exploring the Oral History of an important local newspaper alongside my colleagues Dr Darren R. Reid, Dr Chris Smith and Brett Sanders. Fellow newspaper historian, Dr Rachel Matthews, and I are currently working on a couple of publications based on this project having presented our research at the Oral History Society’s conference last year.
What was particularly great about this project was that it was a collaborative effort at all levels. We had some wonderful Undergraduate students (Poppy Britter, Sophie Knowles, Stefan Bernhardt-Radu and Yahim Ali) who conducted the interviews and helped film and produce the documentary.
It is great to be able to put this effort out there.
The popular press is often seen as the ‘voice of the people’. However, an intensive examination of the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and Daily Express during the Second World War demonstrates some problems with this claim. In fact, the wartime popular press was uninterested in popular political movements, notably the Common Wealth Party, which had a string of by-election successes in the second half of the war. They only took notice of the organisation after it was electorally successful, and even then, its focus was less on its popular support than on the political elites within the party. This paper discusses the Common Wealth Party’s relationship with the press and the implications this has for our understanding of the way non-mainstream political parties were represented in the wartime popular press. It adds to current scholarship by presenting the first detailed discussion of the Common Wealth Party’s coverage in the British press and widens the debate on the role of the press during the war.