Public interests

I see enough bad news about the news business (the latest ABC figures, for example) so I thought I’d post these words, from Mr Justice Max Barrett on court reporting and privilege recently, on why court reporting matters. Court reports are not just of interest to the public; they meet a great public interest. In a liberal democracy that prizes individual freedoms, all branches of government are rightly subject to… Read Article →

Idle thoughts

How come Hollywood can build realistic dinosaur models and CGI spaceships, but the special effects department still can’t recreate realistic puking? Can someone please do me a director’s cut of Julie And Julia so that it’s just Julia? When a party tells you its manifesto is “fully costed”, remember they were “fully costed” in 2007 too. Based on property tax revenues. If someone holds a press conference and photo op,… Read Article →

The Big Lie

The Big Lie, Part One: Spout any old bull you like, so long as it panders to the audience’s prejudices. Indulge yourself. Cite bogus studies. The Big Lie, Part Two: When corrected, do not address your directly. Repeat the lie. Preface with “What the PC brigade won’t tell you is…” The Big Lie, Part Three: Keep going until the media stop calling your lie a lie, instead referring to “a… Read Article →

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 →