By the same authors

From the same journal

Between Art and Information: Communicating World Health, 1948-1970

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Publication details

JournalJournal of Global History
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Oct 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2018
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2018
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)94-120
Early online date14/02/18
Original languageEnglish


With the advent of new media technologies and approaches in the twentieth century, public health officials became convinced that health needed mass media support. The World Health Organization believed that educating people, as well as informing them about the health situation around the world, could assist the enduring fight against disease. Yet in an increasingly competitive media landscape, the agency recognised the need to persuade people and hold their attention through attractive presentation. Public information, the name given to the multiple strategies used to communicate with the public, was rarely straightforward and required the agency not only to monitor the impact of its own efforts but also to identify opportunities to further enhance its reputation, especially when this was in danger of damage or misappropriation. The WHO’s understanding of public information provides insights into the development of international information, communication and education networks and practices after 1945, as well as the increasingly central position of these processes in generating support for and evincing the value of international organisations.

Bibliographical note

This article has been accepted for publication in a revised form in Journal of Global History []. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works.

    Research areas

  • Public Information, Communications, Mass Media, Photography, World Health


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