Modernity comes knocking
in The Fourth Estate
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This chapter examines the development of social affairs journalism during the 1960s and 1970s. It outlines how much of the journalism that was critical of Irish society during this period was written not by Irish journalists, but by outsiders who had made Ireland their home. As the late 1970s and early 1980s unfolded many social issues – such as contraception, abortion, and divorce – that had simply not been written about were now very firmly on the political and media agenda. However, many journalists were not simply observers; they were also participants on both sides of the various campaigns and debates on controversial social issues that dominated the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Fourth Estate

Journalism in twentieth-century Ireland


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