The BBC and the Cold War

  • Gordon JohnstonEmail author
  • Emma Robertson


Johnston and Robertson examine the origins of the BBC’s Cold War and the character of its Cold War audiences and broadcasts. Drawing extensively on BBC scripts, audience surveys, letters from listeners and reports from refugees, Johnston and Robertson argue that the BBC was most influential in countries with a developed civil society. They also suggest that the level of scrutiny to which the BBC overseas services were subject in the post-war years was symptomatic of the wider uncertainty about Britain’s place in the world in the aftermath of Suez. Though ‘victory’ in the Cold War was central to the history of post-war broadcasting, it was the dismantling of the British Empire that provided the measure of the UK’s status in the world.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.History Program, Department of Archaeology and HistoryLa Trobe UniversityBendigoAustralia

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