Book Launch: The British Media and Bloody Sunday


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The British Media and Bloody Sunday

The British Media and Bloody Sunday.
ISBN: 978-1-78320-182-2

 

Bloody Sunday was one of the most controversial events in the history of the Northern Ireland conflict and also one of the most mediated.  The horror was recorded in newspapers, photographs, on TV News, current affairs, in film and TV Drama.

In a cross media analysis that spans a period of almost 40 years up to the publication of the Bloody Sunday Report in 2010, The British Media and Bloody Sunday identifies two countervailing impulses in media coverage of Bloody Sunday and its legacy:  an urge in the press to rescue the image and reputation of the British Army versus a troubled conscience in TV current affairs and drama about what was done in Britain’s name.

In so doing it suggests a much more complex set of representations than a straight-forward propaganda analysis might allow for, one that says less about the conflict in Ireland than it does about Britain, with its loss of empire and its crisis of national identity.

The British Media and Bloody Sunday by Greg McLaughlin and Stephen Baker, forward by Eamonn McCann will be launched by Professor Martin McLoone, and Eamonn McCann.

Greg McLaughlin and Stephen Baker are lecturers in media studies at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.  They are the authors of The Propaganda of Peace: The Role of Media and Culture in the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

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Context 2017

One World One Struggle

Bloody Sunday was inflicted on the people of Derry.  But it has resonated around the world.  It is a local issue relevant to people everywhere.

Over the 45 years since British paratroopers erupted into the working-class Bogside area with rifles spitting death at civil rights marchers, representatives of victims of State violence from both sides of the Atlantic, from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, have travelled to Derry to take part in the annual commemoration and give substance to the idea of 'One World, One Struggle'. 

The British Government still sets its face Iike flint against telling the full truth about the Derry massacre.  A long Inquiry reported in 2010 that all the dead and wounded had been unlawfully shot. Despite this, the Report stopped well short of proposing prosecution of the killers - and pointed no finger of`blame at the senior military officers who had sent the Paras in, or at the politicians who had connived at the assault and then orchestrated a cover-up.

This is always the way when it comes to the violence of imperialism.

Only the persistence of family members and their supporters forced a police investigation. We await the outcome. One reason the British authorities fear the facts about Bloody Sunday is that this massacre cannot be ascribed to warring Irish factions. This was an authentically British atrocity.

Past commemorations have featured African Americans, Palestinians, former Guantanamo prisoners, victims of police violence in Britain etc., as well as members of other families bereaved by murder here in the North, in many cases murder inflicted by State agents and then systematically lied about to protect the same undercover agents.

Lectures, debates and cultural events are highlighted, economic struggles, women’s rights, gay rights, the rights of the environment, and many other examples of`oppression.  We have commemorated, too, the killing of other innocent people by non-State groups - Dublin Monaghan, Birmingham, Shankill, Greysteel, the Ormeau bookies, etc.

We believe that the programme we have produced this year puts Bloody Sunday in its proper context, an extreme example of the fact that, commonly, it’s innocent people who pose no threat to anyone who bear the brunt of conflict.

The trek towards truth and justice has been long and sometimes arduous. But we keep on keeping on because the cause is just and gives good example to the one world in which we all struggle. 

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