Index on Censorship: The War of the words: Use of propaganda and censorship in conflicts

The Spring issue of the magazine includes a special report, the war of words, on the use of propaganda and censorship during conflicts.

This theme seems particularly timely with the current situation in Crimea, where we are seeing classic propaganda techniques being rolled out to rally support for the vote to join Russia. Our special report of 15 articles and essays, starts with WWI where the current use of the term propaganda was invented and looks at poster campaigns, and propaganda journalism in the USA, but our writers, who include Lyse Doucet, David Aaronovitch, Rana Mitter, and serving army officer Ric Cole, also look at WWII, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Natasha Joseph interviews a journalist who worked in South Africa during apartheid, and what it was like to file stories from a newsroom knowing one of your colleagues was a spy; and Scottish journalist John MacLeod reports on a bombing cover-up in Clydebank, near Glasgow, where a huge swath of the town was flattened, and the rest of the country was left completely unaware because of wartime censorship. This Scottish story is still not that well known, even today. Something that illustrates the power of the cover-up during wartime, is the way details of the wartime flu epidemic was kept from millions of people all over the world.

In the other sections of the magazine, Irena Maryniak looks at the rise of racism and nationalism in Hungary; and Konstanty Gebert reports on hate crime and anti-semitism in Poland. The magazine includes two articles about censorship in science, one from Canada and one from the United States.

Table of Contents

Editorial: Rachael Jolley

Special report: The war of the words: Use of propaganda and censorship during conflict

  • Rana Mitter: Days in the museums
  • Alan Maryon-Davis: Into the valley of death…
  • David Aaronovitch: Reel drama
  • Christos Syllas: It’s all Greek…
  • Martin Rowson: Drawing out the dark side
  • Daniel Carter: Weapons of disinformation
  • Leanne Green: Call to arms
  • Recruitment posters
  • Sally Gimson: Bonds of war
  • John MacLeod: Carnage on the Clyde
  • Calin Hentea: Loose talk
  • Keith Somerville and Natasha Joseph: Radio wars
  • Max Wind-Cowie: Political vacuum opens up propaganda possibilities
  • Major Ric Cole: Holding the line
  • Lyse Doucet: Dispatches from the frontline

Global View

  •  Kirsty Hughes

In Focus

  •  Irena Maryniak: Insider state
  • Konstanty Gebert:Poland and the new anti-semitism
  • Gretchen Goldman: Stories of the shutdown
  • Kaya Genç: Turkey’s Twitter army
  • Mark Frary: The day the earth moved
  • Salil Tripathi: Blogging, blasphemy and bans
  • Rachael Jolley: Legal eagle
  • Peter Tatchell and Topher Campbell: Change your tune?
  • Padraig Reidy: Give me liberty?
  • Andrei Aliaksandrau: Secret signals
  • Julian Baggini: Thinking allowed
  • Tom Fearon: Lights, camera, cut
  • Daniella Peled: Not over and not out
  • Prayaag Akbar: Indian magnates fight an uphill battle to control the media


  •  Ed Wallis: Bittersweet symphony
  • Cedric Arnold and Mary O’Shea: The busier booksellers of Burma
  • Julia Farrington: Slowly opening door
  • Meltem Arikan: Rebel noise
  • Olivia J Fox, Jane Earl, and Costas Sarkas: Are womens’ voices in film more powerful than 60 years ago?
  • Mike Harris: Index around the world
  • Natasha Schmidt: Women on the frontline

Click here to read abstracts or download full papers

Click here to visit the Index on Censorship website