Control over the media is a key lever of state power. During the First World War and immediate post-war period, British officials in Ireland exercised this power as they attempted to curtail radical Irish nationalism. While state control over the media can be wielded in direct form (usually through suppression), it frequently manifests itself more subtly and indirectly, through moderate censorship for example, especially when the state in question has a democratic dimension and liberal traditions or pretensions. In Ireland in the period covered by this article state interference with the media was both direct and indirect, partially mirroring the dual policy of coercion and conciliation that marked the final years of British governance over the whole island. Neither strategy succeeded in hobbling republican political advance, however, and censorship and suppression came to be regarded by radicals as irritants and obstacles that could be overcome.
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