Letter: Lift the ban

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The Independent Online
IN ALL the reporting on the London/Dublin agreement, one angle has been absent: the restrictions on broadcast interviews with representatives of Sinn Fein, the UDA and nine other Northern Ireland organisations. But both the British broadcasting ban and its equivalent in the Republic of Ireland, Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act, will become even more untenable if these organisations enter the political mainstream. The Government, which has taken pains to demonise Sinn Fein in particular, now has to render it 'constitutional'.

The bans must have been raised during the talks. The Department of National Heritage is, we are told, currently reviewing the ban - an object of derision around the world. The Government must know it is in a hole with its censorship policy. Fortunately it now has an opportunity to climb out of it.

Tim Gopsill

Editor, The 'Journalist'

London WC1

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