Not fit to print : newspapers, national identity and conflict resolution in the troubles of Northern Ireland

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Edwards, Jeremy Arthur

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In Northern Ireland, two communities with different—and conflicting—national identities (Irish and British) live side by side, each served by its own mainstream newspaper. This thesis provides an ethnographic study of the decision-makers at these newspapers, exploring how each constructs a national identity for its audience. The journalists distanced themselves from ideology and national identity, instead unifying around a cosmopolitan concept of professionalism—nonetheless, the papers continue to exhibit selective framing and reporting (“strategic silence”) driven by a need to serve a nationalistic (and sometimes belligerent) audience. Too much deviation from the core constituency’s preferred narrative causes the papers to lose circulation until they go out of business or bring their editorial stance back into line


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