NEWSPAPERS in dictator-countries serve several purposes. They disseminate such news as the authorities think wise to convey to the people. Their decision on this is bound to be influenced by certain factors. It obviously is necessary to convince the people that they are being informed, otherwise nobody would buy newspapers at all. It is necessary, also, to publish such news as is already widely known from other sources, such as the verbal reports of eyewitnesses. Facts which simply cannot be suppressed must be admitted by the most rigidly controlled press; for any press is effective only if it gives the appearance of candor. Even total despotism, so long as it rests upon a mass base, as all modern despotisms do, has to admit that you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. It can only hope to fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time.
The press in a dictatorship is also used as a vehicle for distributing the party propaganda and bolstering national morale. As propaganda organs, the newspapers are compelled to take account of unfavorable reactions to a particular policy and to offset such enemy propaganda as infiltrates into the country. This gives the editorials, feuilletons and other comments upon the news great interest, for they show what is causing the party leaders sufficient concern to demand counteraction.
They also serve a purpose which is not intentional. Even the most rigidly controlled press cannot fail to reveal a great deal about the civilization and state of public opinion prevailing in the places where it appears. From the beginning of the present war, then, I have made a special effort to follow the German press carefully. I believe that the pursuit has been rewarding.
The Nazi press is by no means uniform. There is a press for every class. The S.S. organ, Schwarze Korps, is designed for the most ardent Nazi élite. The party organ for
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