Of poles, pressmen, and the newspaper public: reporting the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902–1904

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Between 1902 and 1904, the Scots naturalist William Speirs Bruce (1867–1921) led the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition on a voyage of oceanographical discovery. Unlike other British expeditions undertaken during the ‘Heroic Age’ of polar exploration, Bruce’s Expedition placed undivided attention upon scientific accumulation, and dismissed the value of territorial acquisition. As a consequence, Bruce and his Expedition were subject to a distinct interpretation by the press. With reference to contemporary newspaper reports, this paper traces the unique mediation of Bruce, and reveals how geographies of reporting served to communicate locally particular representations of him, and of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203–218
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • William Speirs Bruce
  • polar exploration
  • newspapers
  • journalism
  • geography of reporting

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