The Bbc's 'Irish Troubles': Television, Conflict and Northern Ireland (Paperback)
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This book explores how news and information about the conflict in Northern Ireland was disseminated through the most accessible, powerful and popular form of media: television. It focuses on the BBC and considers how its broadcasts complicated 'the Troubles' by challenging decisions, policies and tactics developed by governments trying to defeat a stubborn insurgency that threatened national security.
For over thirty years, the BBC chronicled the violence and turmoil in Northern Ireland, becoming an integral part of the long and harrowing conflict. By exploring the incessant wrangling between political elites, civil servants, military officials, broadcasting authorities and journalists about what should and should not be featured on the BBC's regional and national networks, this book argues that Britain's public service provider played a critical role in the conflict.
The book uses a wide array of highly original sources to consider how the anxiety and controversy created by these political skirmishes often challenged the ability of the medium to accurately inform citizens of important events taking place within the United Kingdom, thereby undermining the BBC's role as a public service provider. Using recently released archival material from the BBC and a variety of government archives the book shows how, in spite of the infamous broadcasting restrictions put in place in 1988, professional staff remained determined to provide the public with informed news and information about the conflict, and resisted government efforts to silence voices that, although controversial, were critical to comprehending and eventually resolving a long and bloody conflict.
About the Author
Robert J. Savage is Professor of the Practice of History at Boston College