The struggle over, and impact of, media portrayals of Northern Ireland
This thesis examines the process of mass communication from media strategies to audience belief in relation to the conflict in Ireland. It documents the media strategies used by the various actors and participants in the conflict, from the Northern Ireland Office, Royal Ulster Constabulary, Foreign Office and Army to Sinn Fén and the Irish Republican Army, via the Ulster Defence Association, other political parties, Civil liberties and human rights organisations and many others. It reveals the continuing disinformation efforts of the British government, examines how source organisations interact with journalistsw, how journalists and their editors operate and looks at the outcome of their endeavours by analysing international coverage of the Northern Ireland conflict. Finally, the research examines the reception of media information amongst people living in Northern Ireland and Britain. Key questions here included the extent to which `violence' acted as a key organising category in British perceptions of the conflict and the effectiveness of propaganda in structuring public (mis)understandings.