Family Newspapers?: Sex, Private Life, and the British by Adrian Bingham

By Adrian Bingham

Kinfolk Newspapers? presents the 1st specified historic examine of contemporary well known press insurance of intercourse and personal existence, from the beginning of the mass newspaper analyzing increase in 1918 to the triumph of the Sun's sexualized journalism in 1978, whilst circulate overtook that of its rival, the day-by-day replicate. during this interval, newspapers have been on the middle of British pop culture, and Fleet Street's preoccupation with intercourse intended that the click used to be a highly major resource of data and imagery approximately sexual habit, own relationships, and ethical codes. concentrating on altering rules of what sexual content material used to be deemed "fit to print," Adrian Bingham finds how editors negotiated the stress among exploiting public interest approximately intercourse and making sure that their journalism remained in the bounds of acceptability for a "family newspaper." The research demanding situations demonstrated interpretations of social swap by means of drawing awareness to the ways that the click spread out the general public dialogue of sexuality prior to the 'permissiveness' of the Sixties. Exploring the striking range of the press's sexual content--from suggestion columns to pin-ups, from court docket studies to superstar revelations--Bingham bargains a wealthy and thought-provoking research of a media shape that has performed a lot to form the nature of contemporary Britain.

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Extra resources for Family Newspapers?: Sex, Private Life, and the British Popular Press 1918-1978

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Edelman, The Mirror: A Political History (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1966), 40–1. ²⁷ On fears of ‘Americanization’ see R. McKibbin, Classes and Cultures: England 1918–1951 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), ch. xi and xiii. ²⁸ Political and Social Influence The dominance of a small number of national newspapers generated anxiety about the power of wealthy proprietors to wield a disproportionate influence on public life, especially as some ‘press barons’ owned more than one newspaper. Before 1914, for example, Lord Northcliffe owned the two most popular daily newspapers, the Mail and the Mirror, as well as the elite ‘paper of record’, The Times.

Bolder in its content was Playboy, launched in the United States in 1953 and soon selling well in Britain. Playboy targeted an idealized readership of wealthy, sophisticated, and sexually liberated men, and paved the way for an explosion of glossy pornographic magazines in the 1960s. ⁹⁷ Their content was also far more explicit, with Penthouse pushing back the boundaries of acceptability from 1970 by displaying pubic hair. Existing magazines had to adapt to the new environment if they were to survive, as did Men Only after being taken over by Paul Raymond.

Attempts were made to restrict this dominance—the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 introduced a quota system whereby a certain proportion of films shown in Britain had to be British-made, and quotas remained in place in some form until 1983¹⁰²—but ultimately the popularity of the exciting and stylish big-budget Hollywood films could not be denied. Film stars became the new heroes of popular culture: figures such as Rudolph Valentino, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, and Elizabeth Taylor were portrayed as the epitomes of glamour and ‘sex appeal’.

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