All posts by Gerard Cunningham

About Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and tweeter, yet still finds himself underemployed. Go figure.

The Jobbridge database

The Jobbridge database [Version One] courtesy  of a Freedom of Information request. [Since the Excel XLSX file is rather large at over 14Mb, there may be problems in formatting etc. Any suggestions for improving usability gratefully received.] Version Two: Jobbridge database in Socrata (from a suggestion by Steve White)

Jobbridge and Freedom of Information

Victory of a sort…but mostly not In March 2012, I sent a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Social Protection (DSP), looking for the Jobbridge database. By July of the same year, DSP had replied with some of what I sought, but I had some problems, and so an appeals process began. My first problem was the DSP refusal to provide details of companies which had asked for… Read Article →

RTE, BAI, and the marriage referendum

In response to a letter from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland about coverage of same sex marriage, RTE politely responded that it knew how balance worked. I previously published a copy of the BAI’s letter to RTE, which I obtained from the BAI itself. Below are the letter and the official RTE response, obtained through an FOI request to RTE. Same Sex Marriage BAI to RTE 060814

MoJo Kit

Kit used in the course of mobile journalism #mojo (mostly radio/audio at present) 1- Hama Traveller Compact Pro tripod 2- Canon 450D DSLR Camera + Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens 3- SD Cards 4- Audac CMX230 microphone 5- Samsung Galaxy S5 6- Panasonix RP-HC200 headphones 7- 1m XLR microphone cable 8- JTS NX-8 microphone 9- Zoom H4n recorder 10- Foam windscreen 11/12- Sony dictaphone + stereo microphone… Read Article →

Proper Charlie

Maybe the problem is Charlie Haughey wasn’t that interesting. In a way, he wasn’t. I grew up with CJH as Taoiseach, yet no matter how many times I was assured he was a charismatic, powerful and dominant presence, I never saw it. I saw another dull grey politician, and Ireland being Ireland, it wasn’t that hard to read between the lines of the regular newspaper profiles. Unexplained wealth? You mean… Read Article →

Information wants to be free

Or at least, I want information to be freed. And thanks to the new Freedom of Information Act 2014, signed into law today, it just got a little more free in Ireland. Now there are a lot of caveats. Not all officialdom falls under its terms, there are exceptions for things like commercial sensitivity (which can be very broadly defined), not to mention the cost of appeals. But still, the… Read Article →

Freelance Forum: All you need to know

There are only only six days to go until Freelance Forum Autumn 2014. Have you reserved your place yet? Freelance Forum is a regular one day event designed to keep freelance journalists up to date with the latest developments in their industry. Aimed at writers and photographers, and hoping to cover print, broadcast and online, it is organised by Dublin Freelance NUJ Branch. Speakers at the Autumn 2014 Forum include… Read Article →

What’s wrong with this graph?

It’s been niggling me since the result was announced, but there were other things to do, so it took me a few days to sit down and scratch this itch. The headline is simple. Older voters defeated the Scottish independence referendum, as illustrated by this graph breaking down voter intentions. But data journalism can be a tricky thing, and graphs can easily misleading unless designed with a bit of thought…. Read Article →

God and the census

How questions are phrased in a survey is important, as any market researcher or social scientist will tell you. And appearing early on a list matters too. One Irish TD even went to court a few years ago to argue that when arranging names in alphabetical order, the returning officer should ignore the Ó at the start of his name. So consider the following: the number of people who answers… Read Article →

More terms, more conditions

I had a look at the Irish Times android app terms and conditions a few days ago when it prompted me for an upgrade. For completeness, below are the access requests for some other Irish news apps. Short version: RTE and the Irish Independent look for the same call information as the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner is the only one not to ask for call information, and RTE is… Read Article →