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Political Communication in the Republic of Ireland$
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Mark O’Brien and Donnacha Ó Beacháin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380277

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380277.001.0001

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‘Sources say …’: political journalism since 1921

‘Sources say …’: political journalism since 1921

Chapter Five ‘Sources say …’: political journalism since 1921
Political Communication in the Republic of Ireland

Mark O’Brien

Liverpool University Press

This chapter traces the development of political journalism in Ireland from 1921 onwards and identifies the factors that have influenced the relationship between governments and political correspondents over the decades. Political journalism plays a central role in the political process - it holds those whom we elect to public account, it offers insights into the workings of political parties and governments, it is often the first draft of political history, and, occasionally it makes or breaks political careers. Using digital newspaper archives this chapter sheds light on political journalism and political journalists in the early years of the state. Through interviews it examines the role that television played in transforming political journalism from passive reporting to critical analysis and commentary. It also examines the factors that, amid a rapidly changing media environment, impact on political journalism today.

Keywords:   political journalism, political correspondents, government press secretary, political lobby, mother and child crisis, arms crisis, Ireland

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