Category Archives: Longform:200plus

RTÉ and the political lobby

“Labour want US style political advertising” It wasn’t the biggest ever story, but the Sunday Times liked it enough to pay me for it. It even got a bit of social media traction at the time. And it was based on three lines at the end of an internal RTÉ memo. In May 2010, a Labour delegation met some senior RTÉ producers to discuss possible formats for Leader’s Debates in… Read Article →

Charity asked to pay for links to newspaper websites

A copyright licensing agency has told a domestic violence charity that it requires a paid licence to link to newspaper articles from its website. In an email sent to Women’s Aid, Newspaper Licensing Ireland said that “a licence is required to link directly to an online article even without uploading any of the content directly onto your own website”. The email was sent in response to questions from the charity,… Read Article →

This message was brought to you by…

A Labour party delegation proposed the introduction of shorter US-style political advertisements in place of the staid party political broadcast format during a meeting with RTE Executives in the dying months of the last government. “We feel that there is merit in shorter more frequent broadcasts. This is something that would be worth examining in greater detail in the context of the next general election,” a party spokesperson said this… Read Article →

The Wisdom of Crowds

Last weekend, I asked a question on twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and here, in preparation for a presentation to journalists on using social media. For the record, the question and the answers I received are gatered below. The answers are not always in agreement, and some of tem flatly contradict each other, but according to The Wsdom of Crowds, aggregating information from groups can provide answers which average towards the… Read Article →

Controversial religion questions on student teacher exam

I sent in this article to several newspapers last week, but none published it. So I’m publishing it here for the record. A sample examination test for trainee primary teachers taking religion as a subject includes questions which require the student to agree that ‘atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed.’ Another question requires students to mark as false the statement: ‘Hinduism is a positive force for… Read Article →

What’s my line?

A barman, a TV repairman, four trade union officials, five solicitors, a salesman, a stockbroker, a publican, a post office clerk, two postmasters, a political advisor, four political party officials, an operations manager, a plant hire company owner, a painter/decorator, a newsagent, a management consultant, a fisherman, a FAS community employment scheme supervisor, fourteen farmers, an electrician, three doctors, a property developer, an US Congressional aide, two company directors, a… Read Article →

Magda and the Ombudsman: Case closed?

As has been reported at length elsewhere, an interview with a Polish woman identified as ‘Magda’, which was reported in Wednesday’s Irish Independent, was “badly mistranslated“. ‘Magda’ – now known to be Gaia Kowalik – first went public on the John Murray show, 24 hours after he first raised questions about the article, and went on record under her real name in the Irish Times on Saturday. Donal O’Keeffe decided… Read Article →

A freelance contract

This agreement is between the Publication (and all its subsidiaries), and the Author, Gerard Cunningham, an independent freelance writer. Project description Author agrees to write an article of agreed length on the topic required for the Publication. Author agrees to conduct interviews and research necessary for completion of the article. Author will submit the finished article to Editor of Publication, before an agreed deadline. Any additional items, such as sidebars,… Read Article →

Crowdsourcing a freelance contract

More than once, I’ve received an email (or an actual postal delivery) from a publisher informing me unilaterally that in any further work I submit, while I retain copyright, I agree to something along the lines of the following: “[The Author] grants [The Publisher] the exclusive right to use, publish or deal with the Material, and to license third parties to do the same, including: publication of the material in… Read Article →

Statement from the family of the late Bob Buchanan

The family of the late Superintendent Bob Buchanan, acknowledges that the Tribunal of Inquiry, chaired by Judge Peter Smithwick in Dublin, is endeavouring to obtain the truth in relation to the events of 20th March 1989 and the possible collusion by members of An Garda Siochana and members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. However, without the attendance of all witnesses who can provide assistance to ensure the Tribunal can… Read Article →