Newspapers as Sources for Historians

4 April 2015
This paper provides an analysis of several themes found in the newspapers of the time of World War II on December 15 1941, and how they were used by historians.

This essay discusses several themes found in the newspapers of the time of the Second World War on the day of December 15 1941 , showing the usefulness as well as ineffectiveness of these sources for historians. The author examines sources that include authentic documents, personal accounts, diaries, memoirs, and newspapers.
“By researching and studying various aspects of newspapers from times of war, we are able to determine their usefulness to historians as sources. Newspapers contain a wide variety of information on many different subjects, some of which are useful and some of which prove inadequate. Newspapers, especially during times of war, contain large amounts of factual information, such as accounts of battles and gains and losses of military assets. By studying the way in which this information is expressed in newspapers, and by comparing it to other sources, we are able to conclude that this factual information contained in newspapers is usually incorrect, inaccurate or misleading. In this sense, newspapers prove useless to historians as a source. In contrast, newspapers prove to be extremely useful as a source for determining both social and political attitudes of the time.”

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