An outlaw editor in the endgame of the Indian empire

F.W. Wilson's radicalisation of the Pioneer, 1928-29

John Tulloch*, Jane Chapman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The career in India of the Fleet Street journalist F.W. Wilson as editor of The Pioneer (1928-29) is a fascinating episode in the endgame of empire. Catapulted into the editorship of this reactionary colonial newspaper by a British management anxious to rescue its waning fortunes, Wilson sought to widen its appeal beyond a colonial British readership by embracing an anti-government, campaigning agenda which would enlist Indian middle-class audiences. This paper assesses the evidence for Wilson's radicalisation of The Pioneer's editorial stance in the context of India's freedom struggle, and the extent to which new editorial methods and approaches were introduced. It explores Wilson's contacts with leading Indian politicians, his efforts to Indianise the content of the paper, the success of this editorial strategy in attracting advertising and key episodes which brought about The Pioneer's outright conflict with the government of India and his removal as editor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalMedia History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • empire
  • F.W. Wilson
  • freedom struggle
  • independence
  • India
  • The Pioneer

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An outlaw editor in the endgame of the Indian empire: F.W. Wilson's radicalisation of the Pioneer, 1928-29'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this