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News & Events

Statement on The Secret

Date Posted: May 18, 2016

The following is a statement issued on 18th May by Northern Ireland Screen on The Secret:

Northern Ireland Screen made an investment of £300,000 in the production of The Secret. This investment was made as part of our overall strategy to develop the screen industries in Northern Ireland. ITV has commissioned and broadcast very little television content produced in or portraying Northern Ireland and it is a key strategic goal of Northern Ireland Screen to increase ITV commissioning from and portrayal of Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Screen assesses many aspects of the projects it considers for support but it is always extremely careful not to seek to replace or second guess the role of the broadcaster in deciding whether something is appropriate for broadcast on its channel. To do so might begin to place Northern Ireland Screen in the role of a censor which would have negative commercial and constitutional consequences.

Television drama is a very powerful medium and has the potential to provoke thought and understanding in a way that news coverage will not. We believe that the writer and production company have genuinely sought to deliver a portrayal of the events that is as close to the truth as is possible at this remove.

It is hard to justify a factual based television drama like The Secret to someone who is very close and deeply impacted on by the events being portrayed. All media intrusion is hard to justify to those closest to the events.

We would welcome and comply with any protocol that might be developed around how to handle these sensitive issues.

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