NME’s “Irish Troubles”: political conflict, media crisis and the British music press

Campbell, Sean (2021) NME’s “Irish Troubles”: political conflict, media crisis and the British music press. Études irlandaises, 46 (1). pp. 11-54. ISSN 2259-8863

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.4000/etudesirlandaises.10464

Abstract

This article explores coverage of the Northern Ireland conflict (1968-1998) in Britain’s weekly music press, focusing on the country’s leading music paper, the New Musical Express (NME), during its 1980s “heyday”, when it attracted a weekly readership of between one and two million people. The article shows how this paper (despite its principal remit as a popular-music publication) strove to cover the Troubles through a series of feature articles, letters page debates, and (even) a special themed issue, offering space to oppositional views and – crucially – affording a platform to the voice of its readers, at a time when much of Britain’s media was reluctant to address the conflict. Drawing on original interviews with key NME writers, as well as extensive trawling of press archives, the article excavates the intricacies of NME’s account of the conflict, charting its shifting approach to the Troubles, and tracing tensions that this generated between – and amongst – its writers and readers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Northern Ireland conflict, British media, music press, New Musical Express, 1980s
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2020 15:53
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 17:06
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705858

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