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Don't Mention the War

Don't Mention the War

Northern Ireland, Propaganda and the Media

by David Miller

A disturbing picture of the success of media managers in manipulating perceptions of the Northern Ireland conflict
The media has told us for over twenty five years that the conflict in Northern Ireland is irrational and has ‘no objective social basis’. The role of the British Army in Northern Ireland is still described as a peacekeeping one: the cause of the ‘troubles’ as ‘terrorism’. Yet, even in the light of the peace initiatives, many people in Britain and abroad know little about the war that has not been called a war. Why is this so?

Don't Mention the War explains some of the fundamental reasons why there is such a dearth of knowledge and concern about Northern Ireland and how the problem has been defined both publicly and politically. Miller argues that the central strategy of the British state since 1969 has been to contain the troubles and bring about a return to ‘normal’. In pursuing this argument, Miller examines the strategies and tactics used by the British government, the nationalists, the unionists and others to influence perceptions and ideas about the conflict through press statements and other information management activities.

This is a unique and timely work, based on over 100 interviews with journalists, government officials, political activists and politicians, which lays bare the lies of the propagandists and paints a disturbing picture of the success of the media managers in manipulating our perception of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

David Miller is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. He is the co-editor of What is Islamophobia? (Pluto, 2017) and the author of Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy (Pluto, 2007) and A Century of Spin (Pluto, 2007).

'This is surely - and likely to remain for some time - the definitive study of 'public relations and the Northern conflict ... superb' - Books Ireland 'A solid, honest, assiduous book ... Well worth reading' - Eamonn McCann, Tribune
List of Illustrations
List of Appendices
1. Policing the Media: Intimidation, Secrecy and Censorship
2. The Development of Propaganda Strategies
3. Public Relations as a Propaganda Tactic
4. From 'Terrorists' to 'Freedom Fighters' International Coverage of Northern Ireland
5. Misinformation and Public Belief: The Case of Gibraltar
6. Conclusion: Winning the Information Battle
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 1994
Paperback ISBN: 9780745308364
eBook ISBN: 9781783718320

380 pages

135mm x 215mm