Secrecy and the Media: The Official History of the United Kingdom's D-Notice System

by ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-07-06
  • Publisher: Routledge

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $98.95 Save up to $74.97
  • Rent Book $89.06
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Secrecy and the Mediais the first book to examine the development of the D-Notice system, which regulates the UK media's publication of British national security secrets. It is based on official documents, many of which have not previously been available to a general audience, as well as on media sources. From Victorian times, British governments have consistently seen the need, in the public interest, to prevent the media publishing secret information which would endanger national security. The UK media have meanwhile continuously resisted official attempts to impose any form of censorship, arguing that a free press is in the public interest. Both sides have normally seen the pitfalls of attempting to resolve this sometimes acrimonious conflict of interests by litigation, and have together evolved a system of editorial self-regulation, assisted by day-to-day independent expert advice, known colloquially as the D-Notice System. The book traces the development of this system from nineteenth-century colonial campaigns, through two world wars, to modern operations and counter-terrorism in the post-Cold War era, up to the beginning of the Labour government in 1997. Examples are drawn from media, political and official sources (some not yet open), and cover not only defence issues (including Special Forces), but also the activities of the secret intelligence services MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. These cases relate principally to the UK, but also to American and other allies' interests. The story of how this sometimes controversial institution now operates in the modern world will be essential reading for those in the media and government departments, and for academics and students in the fields of security, defence and intelligence, as well as being an accessible exposť for the general reader. Nicholas Wilkinson served in the Royal Navy 1959-98, and from 1999 to 2004 he ran the independent Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee. He was a Press Complaints Commissioner from 2005 to 2008, and is a Cabinet Office Historian.

Table of Contents

Pre -Formation G++ The Long Debate G++ 1880s-1912
Victorian Security and Press Interaction
Regulation of the Press, and the Boer War
Facing the Growing German Threat
Wrangling with the Press
Government Attempts to Litigate
Events Bring Matters to a Head
Formation and Early Modus Operandi of the Committee G++ 1912-14
Establishing the Committee
Establishing Machinery and Procedures
Establishing a Modus Operandi Pre-War
World War I, 1914-18
The Security Context
The Press Bureau
Early Interaction Between AWOPC, Press and Press Bureau
Settling Down to a Long War
Approaching the Steady State
Continuing Tensions
The Steady State
The Final Push
Between the World Wars G++ 1918-39
Security Context
Media Context
Early Work of the Committee
Middle Years Lull
Thinking About War Again
Return Towards a War Footing
World War II G++ Suspended Animation G++ 1939-45
The Press and Censorship Bureau
The Practice of Censorship
Towards Peace
Early Years of the Cold War G++ 1945-1967
Security Context
Media Context
Return of the Committee
Beginning of Cold War Considerations
Korean War and Imperial Disentanglement
Equipment Disagreements
Suez Crisis, and G++War PotentialG++
Fallout from the Blake Case, and the Kuwait Crisis
G++War PotentialG++ Again, and the Radcliffe Report
The 'Lohan' Affair 1967
A Squall Becomes a Storm
Another Radcliffe Inquiry
The Storm Becomes a Hurricane
Rocks All Around
Lohan in the Spotlight, and Radcliffe Bites
Clearing up the Damage
Latter Years of the Cold War, and Northern Ireland
Security, Political and Media Contexts
Revision of the Notices 1971, and Early Caswork
Impact of the IRA Campaign
Wider Concerns about the D-Notice System
The DPBC Review 1981-82
Falklands Conflict 1982
Back to Routine Business
The 'Zircon' and 'My Country Right or Wrong' Controversies
Reform of the Official Secrets Act
Business as Usual Again
Post -Cold War, 1991-97
Iraq, Terrorism, Modernisation
D-Notice Review, and Spook Mania
Books, Avowal, and the Chinook Crash
Special Forces, Former Yugoslavia, Inadequate DA- Notices
Media Discomfort, Northern Ireland, Early Website and a Books Mountain
Quo Vadit?
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review