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Newsreels by Poppy Simpson and Gemma Starkey
Introduction What Is a Newsreel? A Year in Newsreels War & the Newsreels Watching Newsreels  

What is a newsreel? Why were they made and who made them? What can newsreels tell us about the past? Why are they interesting?

In this tour we aim to take you on a fascinating journey through the history of the newsreel. Alongside a selection of thought-provoking documents, our four engaging short films help to put newsreels into context and explain their significance to audiences of today. The first, What Is a Newsreel? introduces this unique medium - the direct ancestor of today's TV news - illustrated with some fascinating examples. A Year in Newsreels considers what we can learn about a particular moment in history - the year 1913 - through its news films. We discover how news reporting was affected by two World Wars in Newsreels and War, while in our final film, Watching Newsreels, we explore the history of the Tyneside Cinema - one of many across the country built as a dedicated newsreel cinema - as a way of understanding the growth and decline of the newsreel industry in Britain.

From working with primary source material in order to learn about events from the past and analysing how they've been represented, to encouraging creative writing and media literacy, newsreels have a wide educational application. These films have been designed for students to watch independently as well as for use in the Secondary classroom. Follow the education links at the side of each page to see how you might start applying some of the material highlighted in the films.

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Topical Budget cameramen

Topical Budget's cameramen line-up in 1922

 With thanks to:

English Heritage
Tyneside Cinema