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delane of The Times


and the credit, or discredit, of the revelations attached almost entirely to The Times.

The opportunity which Russell had was unique. Since the days of the Crimean war we have seen the business of war correspondence run its full course and sink perhaps into comparative insignificance. Owing to the vastly increased range of modern weapons and extended sphere of military operations, on the one hand, and owing, en the other, to the extreme severity of the censorship, the opportunities even of the most enterprising correspondents are greatly restricted. All are placed very much in the same position — a position generally in the rear of actual operations; and, except when enterprise takes the form of fiction, the correspondent becomes, so far as any immediate publication is concerned, little more than an official chronicler. He may still, on rare occasion,*) make a stir, but only as saying what some person or persons in authority or command desire, or do not object, to have said. Russell's position was entirely different. He was free to say whatever he liked, and what those in authority and command disliked. The special war-correspondent was a new invention, and the check of a censorship had not kept pace with it. The Crimean war was the first in which newspaper correspondents — called by Lord Wolseley "the curse of modern armies" — were in the field; Lord Raglan and his immediate successors were the first, and last, commanders to conduct a campaign under the unchecked criticism of unofficial eye-witnesses. The correspondents were given no recognised status; they had to trust to their own wits, luck and daring, to maintain their position; but their proceedings and correspondence were otherwise unfettered. This journalistic enterprise which in later days was spread over a dozen newspapers or more was then largely

1. Perhaps a misprint for occasions.