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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.

Sources: A glossary

In the interests of full disclosure, 200 Words is pleased to provide this guide to journalistic terms of art, to better assist readers in navigating media reports relying on information of uncertain origin. Sources: Pretty much anyone I talk to. Informed sources: Anyone who listened to that Morning Ireland interview I missed. Reliable sources: She […]

The decline and fall

News papers are in trouble, and it isn’t hard to see why. The figures published today by Independent News and Media (INM) tell their own story. The group puts a brave face on it, citing a 12% rise in online advertising revenue to €9.3m, and pointing to debt restructuring, but there’s a deeper problem. Sales […]

Freelance Forum is back

It’s Spring, and so the thoughts of freelance journalists old and new turn to the Freelance Forum. What do you, mean you haven’t thought about it yet? The Forum is a one-day event, now held twice yearly, providing freelance journalists (and aspiring student journalists) with information to better do their jobs. Brought to you by […]

From Panti to Garth

200+ I was contacted by a student a few days ago, asking for my reaction to the statement that the media was overwhelmingly dominated by a narrow middle class perspective. This was my initial reply, which also riffed on the PantiBliss debate. I know some journalists who are predictably middle class. I know others who […]

Careful what you wish for

It’s been a busy ten days since Rory O’Neill appeared on the Saturday Show. John Waters took offence, as did several members of the Iona Institute, and the online community (of not the dead tree press) has followed each twist and turn in the story. There’s even been some light entertainment, with the @ionawatch twitter […]

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

It started when an Richard Downes took to the internet looking for people to talk about TOR (The Onion Router), software which allows internet users to protect their identity. Patrick O’Donovan decided to hop on the bandwagon. He issued a press release. Then he tried to message Downes privately. Others have already written about O’Donovan’s […]

The news in 2014

JANUARY: Following Murdoch takeover, Storyful announce new unit dedicated to verifying iPhone papshots of C-list celebrities. FEBRUARY: MicroSoft finally figures out how to make money out of Nokia, announce relaunch of 6310i. MARCH: Edward Snowden reveals NSA secretly unfollows your friends on twitter, sends ‘likes’ of John Waters to Facebook on your behalf. APRIL: All […]

Embargo

Yesterday, the garda press office issued an alert to journalists about an “incident” in Mountmellick, where a man had barricaded himself inside a house. The brief notice asked journalists to respect a blackout in reporting the incident until it was resolved. Sometimes, based on their assessment, garda authorities will ask journalists to cover an event, […]

Limited vision

There’s no shortage of symbols for the problems that beset Irish governance, from electronic voting machines to the continued attempts to strangle Freedom of Information. Back when the Celtic Tiger was purring nicely, and the government was running out of ways to spend money (because fixing schools and hospitals would have made too much sense) […]

Who’s in Charge: FOI and the civil service

Today I wrote to the three TDs in my constituency to to express my concern at last minute changes to the Freedom of Information Act announced by Brendan Howlin on Friday. These changes, if put into law, will mean Ireland has one of the most restrictive FOI regimes in the world. Most worryingly, although only […]