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Title: Political communication and news coverage : the case of Sinn Fein
Author: Lago, Rita Mafalda Torrao
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis examines the development of Sinn Féin's communication strategies and considers how news coverage of the party has evolved in recent years, and in particular with the advent of the Irish peace process from the mid-1990s onwards. The aim of the research presented here is to establish the relationship between the development of the party's professional communication apparatus and the evolution of its news coverage and to determine the extent to which the emergence of a sophisticated approach to communication has impacted upon media coverage. The thesis argues that the development and implementation of the party's professional communication apparatus has been the result of a much wider process of republican reappraisal that took place during the 1980s. This culminated in the 1990s with the transformation of the republican movement into a more constitutional and negotiation-oriented party, while progressively moving away from the armed struggle as a means to achieve Irish re-unification. Moreover, in emphasising that there has been a considerable improvement in the reporting of Sinn Féin; namely that the news media have become progressively more interested in republican predicaments, less biased and more critical of unionism, it also suggests that the improved media coverage must be seen as a result of the political re-alignment of the movement itself. Ultimately, the main argument of this thesis is that we are now witnessing a new phase of the republican movement and, by proxy, of Northern Irish politics and its coverage in the media. This has meant that Sinn Féin has become more wiling to reach a political compromise and to find a peaceful solution to the conflct, and has attempted to affirm itself as a party with political and social interests, other than Irish re-unification. This has also forced the British government to reappraise its own view of the conflict and of Sinn Féin, recognising above all that the party and Northern Irish politics have evolved from a situation of war to one where it is dominated by careful and sensitive diplomacy. The result is that most of the common assumptions held about Sinn Féin including those of some academics, its political communication and its news coverage, must now be reconsidered in light of the radical transformations that have taken place.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sinn Fein ; Northern Ireland In mass media ; Mass media Objectivity Northern Ireland ; Communication Political aspects ; Mass media Political aspects