Date of Award

1984

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Communications

First Advisor

Dr. Roy Buckelew

Second Advisor

Dr. Tom Auffenberg

Third Advisor

Dr. William D. Downs

Abstract

Within most societies there exists an adversary relationship between political leaders and the press. This situation results from the often conflicting roles of politicians and journalists. Politicians take an oath to lead individuals and direct affairs of state for the general welfare. Journalists are responsible for presenting information from which the public can form ideas and make intelligent decisions in choosing political leaders. In practice, however, the press acts as a watch dog against corruption and inefficiency in politics. Thus, an adversary relationship has inevitably evolved.

But, there are exceptions to this adversary relationship between politicians and journalists. In some instances, a positive relationship between the two has benefitted both. Journalism has, on occasion, been an effective base for a person's gaining public prominence and building a political career.

The purpose of this study is to examine the careers of Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill and the effect of their journalistic work on their political aspirations, activities and achievements. I will argue that both Gandhi and Churchill used the power of the pen, especially in newspapers, to gain attention, fame and finally political support.

From the examination of their journalistic writings and the political careers their journalism generated, I will conclude that Gandhi and Churchill's use of the press was, in fact, the key that opened the door to their eventual political power.

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