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Category Archives: 200 Words

Gerard Cunningham writes 200 Words at a time. Sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, whatever is going on around the place.

Personal Responsibility

Words matter. As journalists, we have to believe that. When the tánaiste goes on a flagship RTÉ Current Affairs programme to undermine the advice of public health experts, it matters. When the taoiseach promises everyone they can have a “very special” Christmas, words matter. When the cabinet dithers and postpones lockdowns while they know people […]

Screen Grabs

This is the second attempt in a decade to reorganise RTÉ funding, after the earlier proposal for a universal “screen” fee foudered on anti-tax sentiment. This idea is likely to sink too. RTÉ just isn’t that popular with politicians. The broadcaster’s news division, even under current cutbacks, has a habit of asking awkward questions just […]

Sticky News

Advertising is the past. Reader support is the future. This has implications for journalism and website design. You cannot build a media business annoying the audience. People will not keep paying for things that constantly annoy them. That confrontational contrarian opinion writer? He’s costing you money. News websites also need to fix the stickiness problem. […]

History 111

Eleventyone years ago today, the House of Lords rejected the People’s Budget of Lloyd George. Furious, Lloyd George pushed through the Parliament Act in 1911, limiting the Lords veto to two years. As a result of the Lords loss of veto, the third Home Rule bill passed in 1912, and would go into effect in […]


I created the graphic below earlier this week, in response to yet another hate filled tweet from a bigot being amplified and shared by people on Twitter protesting how outrageous it was. (No, I’m not going to tell you which bigot.) The graphic is self-explanatory. Trolls feed on attention. So remember, do not feed the […]

Peak Television

The pilot episode isn’t called ‘Pilot’. It’s called something that sounds fancier than it is. Palimpsest, perhaps. Or Quotidian. Or Bellwether. A word wearing it’s best shoes, trying to look its best. And its not an episode. It’s a Chapter.At some point, a character will define the title word. Most likely, this character is a […]


I miss the economic recessions back in the old days, when a Billion was still a big number.


I once had an idea for a pod/radio show where people go through what’s wrong with how their profession is portrayed. Politicians talking about the West Wing, journalists about the Newsroom, a few Guards ranting on the basic mistakes in your favourite cop show. The idea began as a narrower part of a wider feature […]

Rear View Mirror

It seems to be traditional to reflect on the decade gone by every time a year ending in a zero rolls around, so here goes. In truth, I feel I’ve been treading water for the last while. A decade ago, when this blog was younger, social media hadn’t sucked the oxygen out of small websites […]

On news media

Too many journalists complain people won’t pay for news. This is not true. People will pay for news. The question we need to ask is why they won’t pay for our news. I suspect the problem often is not reporting, which is good, but the opinion pages, which are often awful clickbait dreck. The most […]