D-Notice

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In the United Kingdom, D-Notices are a voluntary system of press censorship. The name stands for the note (meaning "Defence Notice, nowawadays a Defence Advisory Notice, or DA Notice), issued by a committee consisting of representatives of the Government and from the media. They are legally 'advisory' notices, and may be ignored. [1]

However, as Moyra Grant notes, "the guidelines also state pointedly that the D Notice system is a useful reminder of the legal sanctions which may be brought to bear if an editor or producer oversteps the mark. Moreover, pressure to comply can be overwhelming". [2]

The media, she writes, is afraid to push the line too hard, as it might introduce in more severe restrictions and notes "there are currently eight general [kinds of] D Notices (which, incidentally, used to be secret information themselves, but were made public in 1982):

  • Defence plans, operational capability, state of readiness and training
  • Defence equipment
  • Nuclear weapons and equipment
  • Radio and radar transmissions
  • Cyphers and communications
  • British security and intelligence services
  • War precautions and civil defence
  • Photography etc. of defence establishments and installations

external links

  • Moyra Grant, "The D Notice", Serendipity, accessed January 7, 2004.