‘Reconciliation isn’t Sexy’: Perceptions of News Media in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland

Charis Rice, Maureen Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


News media play a key role in post-conflict contexts in helping to explain the peace process and report on current events. This research explores the perceptions of cross-community leaders about the role of journalism in reconciliation in present day Northern Ireland. The findings suggest that community activists perceive the media to be sustaining the legacy of the conflict and constraining debates about the way forward in Northern Ireland. We propose that they essentially advocate for a conflict sensitive model of journalism (Howard, 2004, Conflict sensitive journalism: A handbook by Ross Howard. IMPACS: International Media Support. https://www.mediasupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ims-csj-handbook-2004.pdf .), underpinned by a communitarian ethical framework (Christians, 1997, “Social ethics and mass media practice.” In Communication ethics in an age of diversity, edited by J. M. Makau, and R. C. Arnett, 187–205. Urbana Champaign: University of Illinois Press.) which would better reflect the changed interests and needs of a post-conflict community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-837
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number6
Early online date12 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020


  • Media roles
  • NGOs
  • Northern Ireland
  • communitarianism
  • conflict
  • information subsidies
  • peace journalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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