Quality journalism: how Montreal’s quality dailies presented the news during the First World War
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An examination of reporting during the First World War by Montreal’s two most respected newspapers shows that these newspapers articulated divergent messages about the war and domestic events. This thesis argues that during the First World War, Le Devoir refused to be limited by the traditional impassive reporting style of Montreal’s managerial class newspapers, but the Montreal Gazette did not. Where Le Devoir became more defiant and aggressive in its defence of Francophone rights, the Gazette managed to appear more detached even as it reported the same events. This divergence is important because it represents a larger pattern of wartime change taking place as quality dailies gambled their reputations on the ideals of their owners and editors. Each newspaper carefully constructed their attempts to influence public opinion, but where Le Devoir was responding to what it considered a crisis, the Gazette’s interests and alliances mandated loyalty and a calmer tone.