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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.

Space to rent

I spend too much time reading media blogs, predominantly American, because that’s where the most interesting things are happening. While Irish newspapers still fret about paywalls, there are already lots of new revenue models in the Land of the Free, from freemuims and leaky paywalls to digital first, web-only, and (in rare cases) paper-only products. […]

On copyright

I’ve been reading Modernising Copyright, the report of the Copyright Review Committee (CRC), and decided to put my initial thoughts down in writing. Be warned, if you’re used to the 200 word bites on here, this article is considerably longer. Colmcille As is noted to the point of fatigue in Irish writings on copyright, the […]

Lies, damned lies, and property prices

Here’s a graph showing the year on year change in Irish property prices, based on the latest Central Statistics Office statistics. You can examine the raw data on the CSO website, in an article headlined Residential Property Prices rise by 3.6% in the year to September. It’s a heartwarming image. Glance at it without too […]

Snapshots, moving pictures, and unknowns

A poll is a snapshot, capturing a moment in time. A still image, and a blurry one at that. The margin of error (usually around three percent) means the picture isn’t always crystal clear. The margin of error can also tempt newspapers, hungry for exciting headlines, to pump up a statistically insignificant gain or loss in […]

When you’re reporting your source’s point of view, its PR, not journalism

There was a rumour you see. And as far as the Guards were concerned, it was a believable rumour, despite the complete absence of any forensic evidence. So the Guards mobilised, and swooped down on innocent families. Not this week in Tallaght and the Midlands, but 17 years ago, in Donegal. The case led to […]

An old idea

Clearing out old archives, I came across this, from November 2012, and early iteration of the idea that became Guth. Originally a rejected pitch as an idea for an irregular radio column, it encapsulates what I hoped the webmag might do (and while Guth didn’t work as I planned it, I still this there’s a […]

Data Quality

It has been some time since I’ve written here about Jobbridge, and my Freedom of Information request for a datadump of the database of Jobbridge companies and vacancies held by the department of social protection. In brief, the department released to me a broken database, because one item in the database, COMPANY_ID, a reference number […]

Last resort

Yesterday afternoon, I wrote a To Do item in my notebook: honest appraisal. The honest appraisal is simple: With barely a couple of days to go, and as somewhat less that 30% of target, it is unlikely that Guth magazine will reach its target. 30% is regarded as something of a magic number for crowdfunding […]

Last orders

Crowdfunding contributions tend to follow a pattern. When first announced, a project is met with an initial rush of contributions, then things slow down. The word takes time to spread, or people are waiting for a pay day, or waiting to see if the idea takes off, or they just put it off because, well, […]

Unintended consequences

If there’s one article worth reading at the moment, it’s How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets. Go on, have a read if you haven’t already. I’ll wait. What strikes me, though its never spelled out in that story, is how the NSA was the author of its own misfortunes. When Snowden first decided […]