Potter, Simon J. 1975- (Simon James Potter)
Potter, Simon J. 1975- (Simon James Potter)
Born July 9, 1975. Education: Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, M.A., M.St., D.Phil.
Office—History Department, National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, Ireland. E-mail—[email protected]
Historian, writer. National University of Ireland, Galway, lecturer in history.
Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland, African Studies Association of Ireland, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, British Association of Canadian Studies.
Honorary associate of the Centre for Media History, Macquarie University; Royal Historical Society fellow; Menzies Centre for Australian Studies Rydon fellow; Australian Bicentennial fellow; National Library of Australia Harold White fellow; Royal Irish Academy/British Academy exchange fellow; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences fellow, 2004-05.
News and the British World: The Emergence of an Imperial Press System, 1876-1922, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 2003.
(Editor) Newspapers and Empire in Ireland and Britain: Reporting the British Empire, c. 1857-1921, Four Courts (Dublin, Ireland), 2004.
(Editor) Imperial Communication: Australia, Britain, and the British Empire, c. 1830-50, Menzies Centre for Australian Studies (London, England), 2005.
Contributor of chapters to various books. Also contributor of entries to encyclopedias and dictionaries, including Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Dictionary of Irish Biography. Contributor of articles and book reviews to periodicals and journals, including English Historical Review, Cultural and Social History, History Compass, Historical Journal, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Historian, Round Table, English Historical Review, Journal of Southern African Studies, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Journal of British Studies, and Media History. On the editorial board of Media History and Journal of Historical Biography.
Simon J. Potter is a historian. Based at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Potter focuses his research on Commonwealth media, primarily of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is a regular contributor of articles and book reviews to academic journals. The first book he published was News and the British World: The Emergence of an Imperial Press System, 1876-1922. The book outlines the way that the press helped to unite and stabilize the British Empire at its colonial height and provided boosts in commercial, political, social, and militaristic fronts.
Writing on the Institute of Historical Research Web site, Chandrika Kaul noted that "the book makes a convincing case" that the imperial media was not entirely empire-driven, but was partly a product of the commercial benefits involved, a perspective that "correlates with other recent work on the imperial news network." Kaul noted that "the bibliography has a range of primary and secondary sources" but pointed out that "the provision of appendices or tables listing the circulation, price, political affiliation, ownership, and other relevant data, of the newspapers consulted, as well as short biographies on key journalists, would have been of considerable help to the reader in navigating this complex field." Kaul commended the chapter discussing Reuters, the largest private news agency, commenting that Potter "succeeds in illustrating Reuters operations in the Dominions, the tensions that existed between domestic press combines and news agencies forming two angles, with the British and Dominion governments making up the third in the complex triangle of news networks that made up the ‘British world.’" Kaul did note the center-right slant of the newspapers chosen as examples in the chapter on the British press and Dominion news, citing that "a wider spectrum of newspapers, both quality and popular, with their varying political affiliations, circulations, and readerships, as well as the periodical press, would have thrown more light on the nuances inherent in any discussion of the press and politics." Kaul concluded by saying that "overall, this is a well written book that makes a convincing case for the existence of an imperial press system that encompassed the British world during the high noon of empire. It also throws useful light on the press history of the white Dominions and South Africa and is a valuable addition to the fields of media and imperial history." A contributor to the Contemporary Review declared that studies on the topic of the imperial press are "far more complex than some historians would have us believe." However, the reviewer concluded that Potter's News and the British World "is a healthy corrective and a finely argued analysis."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Review, March, 2004, review of News and the British World: The Emergence of an Imperial Press System, 1876-1922, p. 189.
English Historical Review, November, 2004, Donald Read, review of News and the British World, p. 1447.
New Zealand Journal of History, April, 2004, Chris Hilliard, review of News and the British World, p. 104.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2005, review of Newspapers and Empire in Ireland and Britain: Reporting the British Empire, c. 1857-1921, p. 38.
Department of History, National University of Ireland, Galway Web site,http://www.nuigalway.ie/history/ (January 14, 2008), author profile.
Institute of Historical Research,http://www.history.ac.uk/ (January 14, 2008), Chandrika Kaul, review of News and the British World.