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The War Beat, EuropeThe American Media at War Against Nazi Germany$
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Steven Casey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190660628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190660628.001.0001

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The Advent of Ernie

The Advent of Ernie

(p.47) Chapter 3 The Advent of Ernie
The War Beat, Europe

Steven Casey

Oxford University Press

Soon after the invasion, a group of correspondents including Drew Middleton and Bill Stoneman followed Allied troops into Tunisia, where they witnessed the first American battle against German troops. Poor communications and overzealous censorship remained a major problem, however. Because few front-line dispatches arrived in the United States in time for publication, editors began to seek other ways of covering the fight. The AP pushed for more stories on the average GI—or what its boss dubbed “the heroes and goats of the war.” Its rival, the Scripps-Howard organization, quickly struck gold when Ernie Pyle arrived at the front, and immediately began to establish a big reputation with stories that detailed the everyday life of the fighting man—stories that, crucially, were not time-sensitive and did not go stale if they arrived late.

Keywords:   war correspondents, World War II, Operation Torch, Bill Stoneman, Drew Middleton, Associated Press, United Press, Scripps-Howard press, censorship, Ernie Pyle

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