Chapter

The IRD: Inside the Knowledge Factory

John Jenks

in British Propaganda and News Media in the Cold War

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623143
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651344 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623143.003.0005
The IRD: Inside the Knowledge Factory

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This chapter explores the Information Research Department (IRD), its organisation, and how it generated and packaged news for the media and its other clients. The IRD had overlapping functions. As the engine of Britain's Cold War propaganda, it drew upon the expertise of wartime propaganda and the knowledge from a network of experts to help create the raw material necessary to build a new commonsense view of the Soviet enemy. The IRD became most heavily and directly involved in journalism through their production and commissioning of news-feature articles and, later, radio scripts for planting in newspapers, magazines and broadcast services. The factual basis of most of its work made it appear to conform to Anglo-American norms of facticity and objectivity, and thus seem to be just another source of legitimate information, with its basic papers, feature articles, digests and myriad other publications.

Keywords: Information Research Department; Cold War; Britain; wartime propaganda; knowledge; Soviet

Chapter.  8444 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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