Category: Social & Cultural

  • More women in radio: But fewer patronising phonecalls

    More women in radio: But fewer patronising phonecalls

    An edited version of this article appeared in Village Magazine, August-September 2013 edition Coming just as the silly season got into full swing (the MacGill Summer School is always a sure sign) Pat Kenny’s move to Newstalk is a gift to editors wondering how to fill a few pages. For political nerds, the debates over…

  • RTÉ Radio 1: Anatomy of a predictable friend

    RTÉ Radio 1: Anatomy of a predictable friend

    An edited version of this article appeared in Village magazine, June-July 2013 edition Assessing the performance of RTE Radio One in the radio market is never an easy task. When it comes to radio, Radio One isn’t just ahead of the pack, its in a class of its own, which can make comparisons difficult. With…

  • Formulaic Irish radio

    An edited version of this article appeared in Village magazine, April-May 2013 edition It wasn’t meant to be like this. In 1983, the minister for posts and telegraphs assured the Dáil that local radio would “allow the flexibility necessary for the development of services which will meet a very wide range of community needs and…

  • The Phoenix – not unserious

    An edited version of this article appeared in Village magazine, April-May 2013 edition Born out of the ashes of Hibernia magazine and the Sunday Tribune Mark I, John Mulcahy’s Phoenix magazine celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Modelled on Private Eye in the UK, the magazine produces a fortnightly diet of cartoons and satire, financial…

  • The story of X, Why and Ed

    The story of X, Why and Ed

    An edited version of this article appeared in Village magazine, February-March edition When Kevin O’Sullivan took over from Geraldine Kennedy on 23 June 2011, the 13th editor of the Irish Times, he knew the task he faced was no easy one. The Sunday Tribune and the Irish Star on Sunday closed their doors a few…

  • ‘Magdagate’: A case study in how media corrects itself

    ‘Magdagate’: A case study in how media corrects itself

    This article first appeared in the Irish Times “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”, Winston Churchill apocryphally said. In modern times, information (and misinformation) spreads even faster. But although new technology advocates claim the internet allows the system to self-correct faster too, the…

  • St Valentine offers up a good spin on an old story

    St Valentine offers up a good spin on an old story

    This article first appeared in the Irish Times Sex sells. Especially on Valentines Day, and especially for a public relations company, or so an examination of Valentine-themed stories this week suggests, writes Gerard Cunningham. Before becoming famous for the phone-hacking investigation that led to the Leveson inquiry and the demise of the News of the…

  • Godwin’s Law

    Godwin’s Law

    This article first appeared in the Donegal Democrat He may not have realised it, but when Michael McDowell compared a Fine Gael TD to a Nazi, he was breaking one of the basic rules of debate. Put simply, Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) says that as time goes on, every…

  • Wanted! Irish speakers to work for EU

    Wanted! Irish speakers to work for EU

    This article first appeared in the Donegal Democrat Gaeilgeoirs could be in for a lucrative new job – as proofreaders from the EU. Today is the closing date for applications for Irish speakers interested in earning up to €35,000 in the post. Last June, the Irish government successfully lobbied to have the Irish language added…

  • Smoke and mirrors

    Smoke and mirrors

    This article first appeared in the Donegal Democrat On a quick holiday trip abroad a few weeks ago, I stopped into a shop to buy a few nick-nacks. The assistant reached down to hand me a plastic bag, and almost by reflex I said “It’s ok, I don’t need it”, before I even had time…