Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Monday, March 26, 2007

Boreham and His Public Platforms

While F W Boreham communicated through the religious media of pulpits and magazines, he was fortunate to share for many years two significant public platforms as a regular editorial writer for the Mercury and the Age. In his day the newspaper was important in informing the public, especially in these days before the emergence of radio and television. Within the papers, the role of the editorial was strategic in shaping public opinion.

Although Boreham enjoyed a considerable freedom in subject and style, his editorial role was exercised within the constraints of word limits, weekly frequency and the style of the Saturday editorial.

He had a spat with the editor of the Age in the 1940s concerning his use of overt religious language. This revealed the pressure of expectations on Boreham from the owners and managers of the newspapers and the changing religious mores of the general public. In his later years Boreham tagged a moralistic appendage on the end of his editorials—something he warned others not to do, when he was in his prime.

As an editorialist for the Mercury and the Age, Boreham communicated from two major public platforms. It is interesting to ask, “Was he seeking to express theology and teach his public audiences?” This raises questions as to his motivation for writing articles in the newspapers of his day.

Geoff Pound

Image: Article in the Age.