Heidi J. S. Tworek: Peace through Truth? The Press and Moral Disarmament through the League of Nations

Abstract: The League of Nations Assembly passed a resolution in September 1931 to consult the press about the „spread of alse information which may threaten to disturb the peace or the good understanding between nations.“ By September 1932, 16 nations and two international associations of journalists had replied with suggestions for the Third Conference of Press Experts in Madrid in 1933. This article uses these proposals from journalists as a springboard to discuss how we can use comparative and transnational history to understand the press’s role during the interwar period. After analyzing the current methodological debates on comparative and transnational history, I address the use of both for histories of the press. How can comparative or transnational history help us to investigate the press? How can scholars think about journalists‘ associations and conceputalize their role within the interwar diplomatic framework? More specifically, how did the press fit into the League of Nations‘ efforts towards disarmament? Ulitmately, an investigation of the two methodologies shows that we cannot class the press neatly into national boxes, but rather have to recognize the messy networks that overlapped, crisscrossed, and intersected to create those apparently national press systems.

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