Journalism 101… Or How To Miss A Scoop…

25 May

In the olden days, Football was just a sport. Now it is a business and entertainment. In the olden days, Politics was about governance. Now it is a business and entertainment. And the means of reporting Football and Politics are now very different. The designated man (always a man) from the Manchester Evening News sat on the United coach. The designated men from the Liverpool Echo were on the Everton bus and the Liverpool bus. It was Access…the link between …

Read more…Journalism 101… Or How To Miss A Scoop…

If I had to do lockdown again, I would cut back on media…

23 May

In my younger years, I used to backpack around the world. One time I met an Australian girl who mentioned that she never consumed any news at all. This has always stuck in my mind. I was amazed and asked her was she not worried about missing out on anything important? Her insightful reply was that if it were important enough people would tell her. She gave the example of 9/11. The day after 9/11, someone said to her ‘Did …

Read more…If I had to do lockdown again, I would cut back on media…

Another problem solved

21 May

When the news isn’t news: Lots of Scottish newspapers (most notably everything in the Herald And Times Group) had already ducked out of providing ABC figures at all, but this will be a godsend for the rest to save their growing embarrassment. Win…

Have a listen to this unusual but very catchy Covid-19 charity song – On Horseback…

17 May

I have taken to listening to RTE Radio 1 early morning show, The Rising Time. The gently introduce you into another Covid-19 Groundhog Day with some relaxing tunes. The other morning I pricked up my ears at a song that started: I like beer, and I like cheese I like the smell of a westerly breeze But what I like more than all of these Is to be on horseback. WTF? Thought I. is this a spoof song? You can’t …

Read more…Have a listen to this unusual but very catchy Covid-19 charity song – On Horseback…

No news is… no problem for Radio Ulster

13 May

I was in the house the other day (as we all were) and I turned on the radio. Talkback was on with two regular contributors who were presumably disagreeing vigorously about something. I turned it straight off and four or five days later I still haven’t a clue what they were debating. That doesn’t matter because I’m pretty certain I know the positions they were taking on it (whatever it was) and the tone of how the “debate” progressed.  What …

Read more…No news is… no problem for Radio Ulster

“Journalists have always had to have integrity”

11 May

The media are at a crossroads, with fears over the future of some of Northern Ireland’s best known newspapers. Existing trends favouring social media over print newspapers have been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis, with additional financial pressures from a collapse in advertising revenues. This is an appropriate moment to reflect on the future of the media and on ethical responsibilities on journalists working in a post-conflict society. The latest Forward Together podcast from the Holywell Trust features an interview …

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Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom! – Little Richard 1932 – 2020…

9 May

He saw.  He conquered.  We came. Ever heard of the MultiVerse theory?  Oversimplified, the Multiverse is the sum of all potential parallel universes.   It is a hypothetical construct, elegant in its mathematics.  Some scientists think it is theoretically plausible. Others dismiss it for lack of any hard evidence.  Obviously they never listened to Little Richard (aka Wayne Penniman). The first time I saw Richard was on live American TV was the Tennessee Ernie Ford show in 1961.  As I recall …

Read more…Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom! – Little Richard 1932 – 2020…

Normal People depicts an Irish generation to appreciative millions that is at last growing up normally

5 May

Irish pornhub or a touching rite of passage? Critics are divided and that may be an age thing. But there’s no doubt that TV series based on Sally Rooney’s rather minimal novel about the relationship between Sligo teenagers is a smash hit. This boomer old enough to be their grandparent is still getting over the fact that a drama about relationships set in a C21 Irish high school and small town has not a hint of Girl With Green Eyes …

Read more…Normal People depicts an Irish generation to appreciative millions that is at last growing up normally

How does our press emerge from lockdown? Part three: Regional Sunday Newspapers

5 May

I hadn’t planned a third instalment of this series as frankly I have little to no interest in the local Sunday newspaper market these days. Certainly my days of buying five or six Sundays that would see me through to midweek are long gone and, apart from a quick browse of the football sections (usually when I’m in Costa or Nero for an afternoon coffee) there’s not a lot on the front pages of our local Sundays to entice me …

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With Paywall in Place, has the Tele Lost its Welly?

4 May

Ten years ago, the Belfast Telegraph received a prestigious UK Award for Digital News Service of the Year. This was followed by multiple awards for website of the year, huge growth in on-line readers, and a new platform for digital debate that attracted thousands of comments. But with the installation of a new paywall on 19 May, are these achievements now at risk? Will the free and open voice of liberal unionism be silenced to all save a minority of …

Read more…With Paywall in Place, has the Tele Lost its Welly?

The Stockholm Troopers

28 Apr

Anyone up for their taxes being used to bail out Scottish newspapers? No, we didn’t think so. It’s always a bit weird when the very people who are ostensibly least well-served by Scotland and the UK’s media – in this case middle…