Platforms yet to be envisaged

The Irish Times is running a competition called Legends of the Fall, and asking readers to submit works of fiction “inspired by the events of the last five years in Ireland”. The original terms and conditions, published by the Irish Times, asserted that “by entering this competition, you are agreeing that any submissions made become […]

Format woes

Twice in the last few days, I’ve seen offers for free “e-books”. Actually, I see offers like that all the time, but this time, the books interested me, so I clicked download. In both instances, the “e-books” turned out to be PDFs. This annoys me. PDF – portable document format – was designed as a […]

So I asked a question…

Imagine a new magazine. What does it take to hold your interest? For a while now, I’ve been playing with the idea of a new magazine covering Irish current affairs. One decent investigative piece every issue, half a dozen or so strong analysis pieces, perhaps an extended interview, and a few other pieces to lighten […]

Local hype

“Reporting in the regions is reverting to remote-control journalism with the proverbial email giving a convenient but one sided account of public meetings with no journalists present. Important markings such as Circuit Courts and Inquests, once the bread and butter of the local paper are going uncovered, unreported and unrecorded as regional newsrooms either don’t […]

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 […]


Last night, I asked a politician a question. And because I was on twitter, as was the politician, I asked it on twitter. The politician answered me, but was also annoyed that I’d jumped to conclusions by posting to twitter. I argued I was just asking a question, not making a statement, but 24 hours […]

Media futures

I was asked to speak last night at “Crisis in Journalism”, an NUJ event for students. My brief was to give a perspective on life as a freelance journalist. RTÉ’s Colm O’Mongain spoke about broadcasting, Noirin Hegarty spoke about print and online, and Barry McCall gave an overview of the industry in Ireland. Usually I’m […]

Reality Check

I want facts. And that means that often, some of my most productive reading is on blogs. Bloggers (unpaid, writing in their spare time, dismissed as hobbyists by “proper” journalists) produce the goods often enough to keep me coming back. Whether its Tony Humphreys‘ views on autism, a questionable advertising claim, or alleged social welfare […]