Author: Gerard Cunningham

  • Mastodon: The Network Effect

    Mastodon: The Network Effect

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, February/March 2024 edition The defining online event for journalism in 2023, and likely in 2024, is likely to be the continuing self-inflicted implosion of Elon Musk. Historians will debate whether Elon was just an idiot who accidentally broke his toy, or an idiot who deliberately destroyed the information…

  • The Angry Machine

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, February/March 2024 edition A few summers ago, walking around an agricultural show on a sunny Sunday afternoon with the smell of fresh cut grass in the air, I came across a vendor selling candy floss, proudly labelled “Fat Free” and “Gluten Free”. In the same way, every Silicon Valley…

  • Tubridy: The Imitation Game

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, February/March 2024 edition After a hectic year of high-profile inquiries, sackings, and Oireachtas hearings, Ryan Tubridy finds himself at the helm of a morning radio programme, beaming down to Dubliners from London. Yet it is not a Tubridy his old audience on RTÉ would recognise. The latest iteration…

  • The EU: Brussels sells itself short

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, July/August 2023 edition There is a commonly cited statistic that 70% of domestic legislation originates in Brussels. Sometimes, the figure is 75%, or 80%. It’s an odd statistic, not least because it is not clear how law might be quantified. Is it based on the number of acts,…

  • Coimisiún na Meán: Rule of Three

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, July/August 2023 edition Three months after taking over the functions of the now defunct Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, three commissioners laid out their wares at a press briefing on the future of Irish media regulation on the eve of midsummer’s day. The commissioners make up the Media Commission,…

  • School’s Out For Summer

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, September/October 2023 edition The locals call it the white trousers festival. A name earned for some of the unconventional sartorial choices of the mostly grey-haired attendees. The MacGill Summer School, run by former RTÉ producer and editor Joe Mulholland, is now in its 43rd year, still shuffling along…

  • Overton Out

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, May/June 2023 edition As journalists drift back to Twitter after the initial wave of enthusiasm for Mastodon, accepting diktats from Elon Musk in return for his audience, the federated networks exemplified by Mastodon deserve a second look. Twitter changed, not gradually then suddenly as Hemingway had it, but…

  • Out of Commission

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, November/December 2022 edition What does the future of media look like in Ireland? If the reaction to a report of the same name is any guide then the omens are not promising. Catherine Martin, the tourism, culture, arts, Gaeltacht, sport and media minister, received the report of the…

  • Well that’s just, like, your opinion, man

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, July/August 2022 edition Consider the following opinion, which may have appeared recently in a newspaper near you: Should Ireland take a leaf out of Elon Musk’s playbook, and establish a colony on Mars? The Fine Gael party has not released an official statement on their position regarding the…

  • Media Blues: Pessimism about the future of media

    This article first appeared in Village magazine, March/April 2022 edition Looking ahead to 2022, it is hard to feel optimistic about the current reviews of the media landscape in Ireland. Freedom of Information (FOI) law is being reviewed again, ans the signals are not good. There is a tendency for new FOI laws to be…