Churchill’s Conservatives and Television 1951–55

  • Anthony Ridge-Newman
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media book series (PSHM)


Chapter 3 examines the impact of television in Churchill’s Conservatives, 1951–55. It seeks to understand how Tory attitudes were changing towards the media; and what implications this had in driving change in party organization. The chapter explores the BBC’s relationship with politicians and the public, at this time of elite dominance and high politics. The chapter outlines the historical context in the run-up to 1951 and beyond, placing television and its relationship with Churchill’s Conservatives under the microscope. Television was a growing, but minor, factor in the party. Party organization was balanced between a strong Central Office and robust grassroots. Major themes include the Conservative’s suspicion of BBC bias, approach to understanding television, education agenda, converging uses of film and television, membership drives and strengthening of mass party culture, amid flashes of centralization.


BBC Churchill’s Conservatives Conservative Party Mass party Television Winston Churchill 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Ridge-Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUnited Kingdom

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