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The BBC's Irish troublesTelevision, conflict and Northern Ireland$
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Robert Savage

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087332

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087332.001.0001

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‘The Troubles’ arrive

‘The Troubles’ arrive

(p.51) 2 ‘The Troubles’ arrive
The BBC's Irish troubles

Robert J. Savage

Manchester University Press

This chapter addresses how BBC television reported on the outbreak of violence, the arrival of British Troops, the emergence of the Provisional IRA, the introduction of internment, ‘Bloody Sunday’ and the suspension of the Stormont Parliament in 1972. Particular attention is paid to how the unrest was presented to audiences in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom and how aggressive news and current affairs personnel complicated the efforts of the police, army and government to present the conflict a simple one where the forces of law and order were fighting ruthless terrorists. The chapter addresses the failure of unionists to remain united and save the parliament they had dominated fro fifty years. The chapter concludes by addressing how television (especially the coverage of ‘Bloody Sunday’) helped undermine the British government’s efforts to promote itself as an objective force in the divided province.

Keywords:   ‘Bloody Sunday’, Internment, Rioting, Violence, Shooting, Guerrilla war, Curfew, IRA, Propaganda

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