Rowland Kenney and British propaganda in Norway, 1916-1942
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Rowland Kenney was a British propaganda agent operating in Norway during both the First World War and the Second World War. He has been forgotten by history but the re-discovery of his private collection of materials allows for an analysis of his work. Kenney was deeply involved in the development of propaganda policy and practice. In the First World War, his work in Norway resulted in thousands of pro-British articles appearing in the Norwegian press as well as the realignment of the Norwegian national news agency. In the interwar years, in spite of severe medical difficulties, Kenney continued to work within the field of propaganda, becoming instrumental in the establishment of the British Council. At the start of the Second World War, he returned again to Norway, but was forced to flee during the German invasion of April 1940. During the Second World War, Kenney became the Director of the Northern Section of the Foreign Division in the Ministry of Information where he continued to affect policy-creation and the development of propaganda. There is no doubt that Kenney was a key figure in this development. His professional network and his varied roles within the propaganda bureaucracy speak to his level of involvement, and his documented accomplishments even more so. Finally discovering Kenney’s story and his impact illustrates vividly a few aspects of how the practice of propaganda mutated and changed between 1916 and 1942.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy