John Pilger has said that important investigations into the conflict in Ireland were never aired to a wider audience at a time when they could have had an impact on the situation.
Speaking to Irish languaqge newspaper La, the prominent journalist said it was made impossible for journalists to look on Ireland as a war.
“Rather the story was that it was a sectarian conflict with the British acting as brokers.”
He recalled instances when he approached editors with ideas for documentaries and as soon as he mentioned “Ireland” there would be what came to be a predictable reaction. “They would sharply intake their breath,” he said.
Describing as “subtle intimidation” the pressure to hold to an “official media line” on the Irish story, he pointed to instances where investigative movies about the Irish situation could have had a profound impact on public opinion in Britain had they been aired when the conflict was raging.
“An instance that comes to mind is John Ware’s excellent documentary about the killing of Pat Finucane and how that exposed the British collusion with loyalists,” he said.
“That would have had a massive impact had it been made during the war but it wasn’t made or broadcast until much later.”
There was resistance which he described as ‘subtle’ to any form of investigative journalism in Ireland and there were numerous instances where programmes were never made or were cut substantially or having been made were never broadcast because of political interference.
He said that this British censorship, conceived and perfected in the North of Ireland, was now being used to propogandise the invasion and occupation of Iraq.