Tag Archives: journalism

Justice “administered in public” and data protection

A few weeks ago, a message appeared on a Facebook journalism court from a reporter, who had just been told he would not be allowed advance notice of district court cases any more because of “data protection” issues. I was curious to learn more, so I sent in a Freedom of Information request to find out what these instructions were, and what the reasoning behind them was. An email has… Read Article →

The Charleton Report

As possibly the only journalist in Ireland to have covered two Garda tribunals of inquiry in their entirety, I should probably say a few words about what will probably come to be known in shorthand as the Charleton Tribunal. For starters, although I’d be glad to do so, it’s deeply unlikely I will cover a third Garda inquiry. The Morris and Smithwick tribunals &em; Morris in particular &em; occurred under… Read Article →

The Trouble With Algorithms

There’s a notion going round that not only should Facebook not interfere with the newsfeed to stop Fake News, but it is incapable of doing so. This is absolute nonsense. I follow maybe 300 people on Facebook. I regularly see updates from about a dozen. Sometimes, that’s because people haven’t posted recently. But usually it’s because Facebook decided I don’t need to see their updates. So whenever you hear that… Read Article →

What’s the worth of a a freelance?

A while back, someone posted to a freelance journalism group in Facebook looking for some advice on rates/ They’d been told by a published that they paid “standard rates”, and naturally, this raised the question, what are the standard rates? So I answered in part as follows: There is no such thing as a standard rate. and if I were to tell you one, I would be breaking the law…. Read Article →

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 →

Information wants to be free

Or at least, I want information to be freed. And thanks to the new Freedom of Information Act 2014, signed into law today, it just got a little more free in Ireland. Now there are a lot of caveats. Not all officialdom falls under its terms, there are exceptions for things like commercial sensitivity (which can be very broadly defined), not to mention the cost of appeals. But still, the… Read Article →

Freelance Forum: All you need to know

There are only only six days to go until Freelance Forum Autumn 2014. Have you reserved your place yet? Freelance Forum is a regular one day event designed to keep freelance journalists up to date with the latest developments in their industry. Aimed at writers and photographers, and hoping to cover print, broadcast and online, it is organised by Dublin Freelance NUJ Branch. Speakers at the Autumn 2014 Forum include… Read Article →

What’s wrong with this graph?

It’s been niggling me since the result was announced, but there were other things to do, so it took me a few days to sit down and scratch this itch. The headline is simple. Older voters defeated the Scottish independence referendum, as illustrated by this graph breaking down voter intentions. But data journalism can be a tricky thing, and graphs can easily misleading unless designed with a bit of thought…. Read Article →

Back to the future

From the New York Times and Washington Post comes news of yet another attempt to Fix Comments. Everyone wants to engage with audience, trouble is the results end up costing as many readers as they attract. But why are the comments so horrible? I’d argue a large part of the problem is it’s because every content management system built to handle comments is built to serve the publishers needs. Its… Read Article →

Pressure Points

I posted this graph in yesterday’s 200 Words. I created it as a clearer version of Simon McGarr’s “Scandal Timeline”, below. Journalists have criticised the graph, pointing out the story in response to which it was created — Tuam mass graves — was broken by the Daily Mail (and earlier, the Connacht Tribune). They have a point. The Tribune, Mail and Journal covered it. Philip Boucher-Hayes did an excellent Liveline…. Read Article →