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Thread: The Quality of Journalism in Ireland

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    Default The Quality of Journalism in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by centreleft
    I don't see an Irish Jeremy Paxman on our screens
    Quote Originally Posted by NickyG
    My two cents, our standard of journalism is NOT amongst the best in the world, both with regard to blatant agenda-ising (?) and pure and simple investigative quality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cain1798
    The reality is that political journalism in Ireland is as deeply embedded in the political establishment as a Fox News reporter wandering around Iraq with the US Marines. They socialise with, drink with and go out with the politicians they're supposed to be covering. They live out of each other's pockets and this can lead to some reluctance on the part of journalists to go after someone they were drinking with the night before even when there's blood in the water.
    I thought a separate thread was required to discuss this question, so to keep the other one from which these quotes were lifted (available here) on track.

    I would not quibble with the suggestion that investigative journalism is somewhat lacking. Only RT… seem to dedicate the necessary resources to this necessary facet of journalism. Though The Phoenix does its share in a peripheral sort of a way. The Irish Times rely on what appear to be leaks and press releases for its stories, with the odd phone call for a comment. Nothing wrong if thatís the bulk of your news pieces, but when itís all there is before jumping into opinion that is a problem.

    Also there is a lack of analysis in the Irish Media, though this is improving. The Irish Times has employed some experts to go through policies and announcements to explain where they score and where they miss. Tom Clonan has been a particularly beneficial addition to their staff- heís the security analyst that went through just how much bull excrement the IDF statements during the Israeli-Lebanon war last summer constituted.

    As for the issue of hackery and the restraint Irish journalists show in attacking politicians, I do think this is an important issue. But it requires appreciation of the context. It does little good to measure Irish journalism against the foreign media outlets we have access to. Britain, France and the US are large countries- their journalists are numerous enough to form an independent pillar within the nationís cognoscenti. In Ireland the numbers are smaller and so the various pillars overlap. Weíll never have a Jeremy Paxman because media consumption is not large enough to sustain one in Ireland. Leading journalists here require political as well as public support. The closest we have to Paxman is Vincent Browne, and his record on making self-sustaining journalistic outfits are poor. They tend to run out of money and guests/interviewees rather rapidly.

    Journalistic restraint is common across small countries- itís not an Irish phenomena. John Lloyd, writing in The Financial Times, considered the case of Israel:

    At the same time, this is a country of only 7 million people. In a panel discussion with colleagues, Barnea said that the trouble with small societies is that if you last as a journalist (he is in his early 60s) you know everyone in power: you played in the street with them, went to school with them, lived next door to them. You knew something of their private lives, and they something of yours. Journalism becomes an intimate affair, and criticism or revelation akin to betrayal.

    A former colleague on the FT used to say that journalists are more often corrupted by friendship than by freebies. It must be so: journalists don't mind biting the hand which gives them trips and treats in the hope of good coverage - indeed, it is a matter of honour with many to do so. Honour is more of an ambiguous commodity when you bite a hand that has held yours with affection.
    So while improvements could be made, it's not all that terrible. And remember, for every Paxman you get a Daily Mail- which recently and needlessly was responsible for the scalping of one the world's leading businessmen- Lord Browne of BP. While we have our own tabloids in Ireland, they're not nearly as bad as the British ones. Improvements at one end of the spectrum often necessitates deterioration at the other end.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

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    Eh? Didn't Lord Browne lie in court?

    He deserved to be scalped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddylekker
    Eh? Didn't Lord Browne lie in court?

    He deserved to be scalped.
    He should never have been in court.

    He made an error of judgement, unquestionably, and the board of BP was right to let him go. But he was trying to block a 'kiss and tell' story going to print, in essence he was trying to keep his private life private. The story had nothing to do with the public interest, except for people who want to nosey in on a man's relationship simply because he is wealthy and gay.

    Associated Newpapers should never have forced him into the position they did, and I would hold them responsible for the mess.
    We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddylekker
    Eh? Didn't Lord Browne lie in court?

    He deserved to be scalped.
    A blackmailer hires the likes of Max Clifford to sell a sex story to the Mail and as it deals with sex, there will be an element of truth and fiction in the account.

    It's not journalism.

    It's no surprise that Lord Browne is gay.

    Five years ago, BP as the UK's biggest comapny, sought to attract gay and lesbian staff in Britain and the US by offering equal benefits for partners in same-sex relationships. This ensures that the traditional offer to spouses of pension rights, death benefit provisions and relocation allowances are extended to gay partners.

    It wasn't as if Browne was like politicians - saying one thing and doing another.
    Believe those who search for truth. Doubt those who claim to have found it -Andrť Gide (1869-1951) Nobel Laureate 1947

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    Oh, I agree, but he was exceptionally stupid to commit perjury.

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    Default Re: The Quality of Journalism in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod
    While we have our own tabloids in Ireland, they're not nearly as bad as the British ones.


    Its the British pseudo-Irish ones that are causing the greatest problems.
    These are British papers.
    They have a few Irish workers. They stick "Irish" somewhere on the banner and ,hey presto, you have an Irish newspaper.

    I dont think so.

    But lets be honest. They would'nt sell if there was'nt a demand and there obviously is.
    I think that political parties may find themselves having to go into the newspaper publication business in the near future in order to balance the feild.

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    A word about Paxman. Although he has a very imposing presence and speaks incisively, I'm not entirely convinced that his aggressive style of questioning is the best way of shedding light on any question.

    He fillets politicians, sure, as in that notorious interview with Michael Howard (wasn't it), but did the public really learn anything they didn't already know from (say) his questioning of David Cameron about the lewd names for cocktails?

    I feel I'm getting more bang for my buck from more colourless interviewers.

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    Default Re: The Quality of Journalism in Ireland

    Quote Originally Posted by hiker
    Quote Originally Posted by St Disibod
    While we have our own tabloids in Ireland, they're not nearly as bad as the British ones.


    Its the British pseudo-Irish ones that are causing the greatest problems.
    These are British papers.
    Are the Indo and Tribune Bahamian papers, then? They're also owned by people abroad, but operate in Ireland with Irish staff.

    Quote Originally Posted by hiker
    They have a few Irish workers. They stick "Irish" somewhere on the banner and ,hey presto, you have an Irish newspaper.

    I dont think so.
    Why not? Do they pay taxes here? Sell papers here? Write about here? Employ Irish people to report on Ireland?
    What in your opinion IS an Irish paper, Hiker? An Phoblaicht? Ireland's Own? Kiss magazine?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiker
    But lets be honest. They would'nt sell if there was'nt a demand and there obviously is.
    I think that political parties may find themselves having to go into the newspaper publication business in the near future in order to balance the feild.
    I've got no end of sh!te through my letterbox from politicians purporting to be newsletters but which are in actual fact simply 'elect me' freesheets.
    I don't know how their existence in any way balances whatever imbalance it is that you detect within the media.
    Unless you see party-approved spin as being a balance to honest reporting, that is.
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    The Irish Independent is the worst newspaper I have seen. An anti-Irish propaganda sheet.

    I thought the British Daily Telegraph (under Lord Black) was the most anti-Irish, but the Indo tops it. In contrast, The Independent in Britain is a quality newspaper, with some quality people, instead of the trash the Irish put up with.

    Surely the Irish should demand better.

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    I think the quality of Irish journalism has certainly deteriorated since the entry of the British-owned tabloids into the Irish market, with their loud over-simplistic attitudes to a range of political issues - not to mention their nasty personalised attacks on politicians such as Mary Harney and Michael McDowell. Sadly this trend seems to have contagiouslly spread like the Plague to the broadsheet newspapers too.

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