Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category

File of ‘La Libre Belgique’ Now in New York

The daring, revolutionary, and anti-authoritarian Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique [The Free Belgium] was published during World War I — its authors and location a state of almost complete mystery.

As this 1918 article details:

“Since the beginning of 1915 this small four-page sheet has been published, almost weekly, ‘somewhere in Belgium,’ in defiance of the Germans and despite their vigorous and persistent efforts to suppress it. Its publishers have not been caught, though hundreds of arrests have been made ‘on suspicion.’ Huge fines have been imposed and long terms in jail endured by those apprehended with it in their possession, but the source of its being, the presses from which it emanates, the ‘cave automobile’ in which it is published, and the daring spirits who first gave it life and who have maintained it under ever-increasing danger are still as free as when the enterprise began in February, 1915.”

The paper was published 56 times in 1915, 48 times in 1916, and 11 times in the first three months of 1917, for a total of 115. A copy of every issue during that entire run was snuck out and brought to America by the Catholic priest Father Jean Baptiste De Ville while in Belgium, at great risk to his own life.

Their operating creed was laid out through a piece published in the publication’s very first issue:

“La Libre Belgique will live in a cave, and propagate, like Catholicism, in the catacombs. It will live in spite of persecution and official censure because it shall tell the truth, and because there is something stronger than might, stronger than Kultur [culture], something stronger than the Germans — the truth! And Belgium is the soil of truth and liberty.”

What happened to this newspaper? It ultimately published 171 issues during the war (115 by the time of this article), and still lives on today with a 35,500 daily print circulation in Belgium, plus more than 1 million online visitors.

File of “La Libre Belgique” Now in New York: Banker Has Bought It from a Priest Whom the German Invaders Could Not Prevent from Collecting Copies of Secretly Issued Newspaper (PDF)

Published Sunday, March 10, 1918

Leave a comment

Written by Jesse

March 9th, 2018 at 8:01 am

Posted in Journalism

Thirty-two Camps Have Newspaper in Common

The newspaper Trench and Camp was started for soldiers in training during WWI, with the intention that half the content would be national and identical among each of the 32 editions, with the other half of content being written by local writers.

Trench and Camp did not survive past approximately 1919. What most Americans now think of as the primary publication dealing with the military, Stars and Stripes, began in its modern incarnation during WWI.

However, it had apparently not received enough attention by January 1918 for the New York Times Sunday Magazine to profile it yet — Trench and Camp was still apparently the bigger of the two publications at that point.

Thirty-two Camps Have Newspaper in Common: Four Pages of Each Issue Printed Here for All, Four More Pages of Local Interest Printed at Nearby Cities for Each Cantonment (PDF)

From Sunday, January 6, 1918

Leave a comment

Written by Jesse

January 10th, 2018 at 8:17 am

Posted in Journalism,War

Harden, Who Talks Freely and Yet Avoids Jail


Maximilian Harden’s German newspaper Die Zukunft, or The Future, was willing to write in defense of American President Woodrow Wilson and against Kaiser Wilhelm II, despite a sharp German crackdown on the press.

How? The article speculates that perhaps Harden possessed embarrassing or incriminating information against the Kaiser that he was using as blackmail — not unlike current claims of Russian blackmail against President Trump. Indeed, Harden had previously exposed a homosexual relationship between members of the German Cabinet in 1907, a shocking scandal at the time.

Alas, Harden ended his newspaper in 1923 and passed away in 1927, before his pen could have perhaps done some more fighting against Hitler.

Harden, Who Talks Freely and Yet Avoids Jail: German Editor’s Astonishing Record of Assailing Junkerdom and Praising America — One of the Few Who Dare to Speak (PDF)

From Sunday, July 8, 1917

Leave a comment

Written by Jesse

July 6th, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Journalism