Northern Ireland news

Department of Foreign Affairs helping fund research to 'review and assess impact' of language by Northern Ireland-based media

Simon Conveney's Department of Foreign Affairs is helping to fund research which will "review and assess the impact of the use of language by Northern Ireland-based media"

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is helping to fund research which will "review and assess the impact of the use of language by Northern Ireland-based media."

The project will explore the potential impact of a United Ireland and the role northern-based media outlets play in the public debate on this issue.

It is part of the Future Relationship Conversations Project, which is partly funded by Simon Coveney’s department.

The project, which is led by a Derry-based community development organisation the Holywell Trust, will involve research into the impact of any constitutional changes in the north.

The project tender states that the aim of the research is "to review and assess the impact of the use of language by Northern Ireland-based media, and the positive/negative contribution that this makes to addressing division and deepening understanding of the constitutional issue".

It is understood the research will be carried out over the next few months and the findings made public before the end of the year.

The Future Relationship Conversations team says it does not have a "preferred outcome" on the constitutional issue, other than "enhancing the discussion by providing accurate and informed information".

"There is a need and growing desire across communities to have a conversation on the future constitutional status of Northern Ireland and Ireland," it says.

"Brexit has added an extra dimension to the conversation, and has made the possibility of a border poll more likely.

"It also clearly demonstrated the dangers in holding referendums with limited information on the outcome of decisions".

“We are convinced that if people are informed and are engaged on issues, and have the opportunity to shape and inform debate, then the impact of the conversations will be less divisive in local communities".

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