History in the Making

Document Type



The scope and ferocity of World War I (1914-1918) shocked the world. It was the first conflict that was reported to the public in near real-time, engrossing people around the world. This paper analyzes the reporting on World War I by a regional American newspaper in Southern California, from America’s initial debate about entering the war in early 1917 until the end of hostilities in 1918. This paper makes use of the newspaper articles printed by the San Bernardino Daily Sun to analyze and evaluate the substantive content and underlying purpose of news stories published by the Daily Sun during the period immediately preceding and covering the First World War. This analysis will show that the Daily Sun’s reporting on World War I was remarkably transparent, accurate, and contemporaneous. Further, the people of San Bernardino were well-informed and took an intense interest in the war before America was even formally involved. The San Bernardino Daily Sun published accurate information from Europe through the Associated Press as well as numerous patriotic and local interest stories about the war, regional involvement, and the economic and political ramifications of the conflict. These insights into rural American society through the lens of the San Bernardino Daily Sun’s war reporting provide a window into the past and a fascinating look at the reaction to the most significant historical event of its time, World War I.