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During World War I, newsreels became the first medium to disseminate moving images of war to broad masses of Western societies. Although they were not merely a war-reporting medium, newsreels reached the peak of their popularity during World War II, when they ranked as a most influential mass medium at the interface between information, entertainment, and propaganda. The significance of newsreels gradually decreased after World War II.

War Reporting in Early Film

Wars have been recorded on film since about 10 years before the newsreel emerged as a cinematic form. Soon after movie cameras had been invented in the 1880s, pioneers of cinema distributed footage related to current events as actualités (actuality films). Probably the first actuality films about a war were shot in 1897 by ...

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