SOLIDARITY WITH RTÉ
IVAN YATES and Matt Cooper thundered recently about the inept, spendthrift, tax-funded RTÉ on their Virgin One The Tonight Show as the private TV station piled the pressure on its crisis-ridden broadcasting rival. The two presenters made much of RTÉ’s cost base and double funding... Read more »
RTÉ SPLIT: DEE VS MOYA
YOU HAVE to feel sorry for RTÉ director general Dee Forbes, who is faced with the wrath not only of her staff but also the RTÉ board, which has serious doubts about her and the other executives responsible for the plan to save RTÉ. The... Read more »
THAT BIG MIRROR SCOOP
As anticipation builds ahead of tonight’s Newsbrands Journalism Awards, it is worth recalling Conor McGregor’s alleged ‘love child’ and the internal wrangling over whether the story should be shortlisted for ‘scoop of the year’.
Goldhawk has previously detailed the fractious debate among showbiz judges regarding the story’s eligibility and a dispute which eventually led to an intervention from Mirror editor, John ‘Jumbo’ Kierans (See The Phoenix 16/10/19).
It is most unfortunate then that last week it emerged that the MMA fighter has been “cleared” of all paternity claims following a DNA test. McGregor is evidentially not alone in his wishes to “move on” either.
For ten months The Mirror has covered every minor twist and turn since the initial scoop in January however last week’s development remains unreported.
Read More: Journo Awards Ego Fest
INM’S BELGIAN BEER INTERVIEWS
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT editor Cormac Bourke’s “new role” as editor of the Irish Independent was announced in the Sindo recently, with Cormac quoted as looking forward to the “new challenge”. The Sindo published a (nearly) exhaustive list of Bourke’s editorial roles, which include various editorial roles... Read more »
JOURNO AWARDS EGO FEST
DIGITAL-SAVVY hacks got into the Newsbrands Journalism Awards website some weeks ago (the gong circus is to be held in the Mansion House in a fortnight) and accessed the articles submitted – intended for shortlist judges’ eyes only. The security breach enabled some journalists to... Read more »
RTÉ VS OIREACHTAS
A MOST interesting and possibly expensive conflict between RTÉ’s Prime Time Investigates programme and members of an Oireachtas committee will play out in the High Court unless somebody blinks in a forthcoming libel case being taken by a well-known greyhound trainer against the station. Much... Read more »
CIARA KELLY’S MISERY
WOE BETIDE anyone not joining the week of national mourning following Ireland’s unceremonious exit from the Rugby World Cup in Japan. The loss was taken badly by Newstalk’s Ciara Kelly on Twitter who was agog that not everyone was behind the team. The celebrity doctor-turned-radio... Read more »
WHAT’S A HYBRID CAR?
Earlier this month, RTÉ’s website ran a scoop, headlined, ‘Toyota to drop petrol versions of Corolla and C-HR’. Motoring editor Donal Byrne explained that the Japanese manufacturing giant expects 92% of its cars to be “fully hybrid by the end of next year”. Toyota Ireland’s... Read more »
WHO KNOWS if Irish politics will ever recover from the revelation that TDs often vote for absent colleagues. The once unblemished reputation of Dáil Éireann has been rocked this week with news that at least some inhabitants are duplicitous chancers, prone to cut corners. Even... Read more »
THE NEW ORDER AT INM
BELGIAN PUBLISHERS Mediahuis may find that bending the querulous natives to their will at Independent News & Media (INM) is a little more difficult than suppression of dissent in the Belgian Congo a century ago. Perhaps this is why Mediahuis has begun by beheading big... Read more »
PROFILE: PAUL O’NEILL
PHOENIX READERS will have been entertained by the anguished debate in which Irish Times journalists have become embroiled over alleged sexism at the “macho”, male-dominated newspaper (see edition, 23/8/19). But while editor Paul O’Neill must deal with the fall-out from these claims of most un-Irish... Read more »
NÓRA QUOIRIN: THE FRENCH CONNECTION
IN AN effort to get ahead of the news, an Irish Times front-page splash on Nóra Quoirin last week said, “Suspicions grow that 15-year-old was kidnapped and murdered”. This came the day after its front-page headline said, ”Further investigation in Quoirin case hinges on postmortem... Read more »
IRISH TIMES IMAGE
IN AN unusually unsubtle PR move, the Irish Times announced the editorial promotion of two women the weekend following The Phoenix story about alleged bullying and discrimination against the paper’s women journalists (see The Phoenix, 26/7/19).
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MICHELLE’S MAYO MADNESS
FINE GAEL farming members, a mainstay of the party for generations, are not enamoured of their Galway West TD, the fragrant Hildegarde Naughton, but they do rather like their party’s Mayo senator, Michelle Mulherin. Hildegarde is chair of the Oireachtas joint committee on climate action... Read more »
BANNING THE DAILY MAIL
HIGH ANXIETY has surrounded coverage by mainstream and social media of the Ana Kriégel murder trial, mostly for good reasons. But reaction to trial judge Justice Paul McDermott’s initial blanket ban on media coverage – followed by his retreat to a limited ban on just... Read more »
THE IRISH TIMES business pages found a rather unusual angle on Friday with the headline “Beware the lure of CFDs, beloved of convicted murderer Patrick Quirke”. In the piece, markets correspondent Joe Brennan, says that: “Those who closely followed the recent trial of Patrick Quirke,... Read more »
WRITING IN today’s Irish Times, legal academics Eoin Daly and David Kenny highlight an ‘obscure mechanism’ government has been using to block the implementation of opposition Bills. The pair underline that Fine Gael are taking advantage of ambiguity around what kind of legislation is subject... Read more »
THE SINDO’S TOP TIPS
ANYONE paying rent these days is aware of the extortionate prices being charged by landlords, but never fear the Sindo has some groundbreaking tips to escape the “rental trap so you can own your home.”
And here they are: Start saving, move back home, get a handout, get a state digout, get an exemption, record rent paid, tidy up finances, move county, move country, get it tax-free, watch out for CGT and last but not least – avoid family rifts.
MEDIAHUIS SPANNER IN IT WORKS
THE IRISH TIMES gave the Mediahuis takeover of INM a guarded endorsement, saying the new owners offered a fresh start for the group and that, on paper, it looked like a “smart deal” for the Belgians. The “paper” reference was unlikely to have been a... Read more »
DENIS O’BRIEN’S TROPICAL STORMS
DENNIS O’BRIEN has secured a rare courtroom victory by winning the first round of a legal battle against the government of Antigua and Barbuda. For the background to Dinny’s Caribbean adventures read below. THERE IS TROUBLE brewing in paradise where Denis O’Brien is heading for... Read more »
FIRST CLASS SECOND CAPTAINS
OVER TWO years after the Second Captains podcast crew decided to down tools at the Irish Times, the team performance is approaching Champions League standard. Figures filed by one of the boys suggest that the gamble continues to pay off. Readers will recall that the... Read more »
PRESS COUNCIL — SECRET INFO
WHAT AN intriguing postscript at the end of the May 26th edition of the Sunday Business Post’s publication of the Press Council’s rejection of its appeal against an adverse ruling. The council had ruled in favour of RTÉ’s Ken O’Shea, who as current affairs editor... Read more »
KATIE TAYLOR’S (UN)DISPUTED VICTORY
THE Irish Independent did its patriotic bit for Katie Taylor following her “undisputed” victory in the women’s world lightweight championship fight in New York. Under the headline, “KATIE AN INSPIRATION AND ROLE MODEL TO ALL YOUNG WOMEN”, the paper’s editorial noted dismissively that there was... Read more »
MARIA BAILEY AND PAUL ALLEN
FANS OF GOLDHAWK won’t be surprised by weekend reports that PR guru Paul Allen popped up in the ongoing Maria Bailey ‘Swing Gate’ debacle. Allen accompanied the embattled TD to RTÉ studios last Monday where she gave a now legendary interview on the Sean O’Rourke... Read more »
RTÉ’S POLITICAL PRIORITIES
WHILE RTÉ’S coverage of the election counts was up to its usual high standard, the scheduling of EU election debates – easily the most watchable TV political coverage – was regarded by Montrose programmers as baffling. The first debate, hosted by Murrium O’Callaghan, was broadcast... Read more »
THE INDO has finally caught up with Goldhawk who predicted at the start of May that Peter Vandermeersch would be keeping a close eye on the Talbot St outfit.
NIALL MCGARRY’S ‘IRISH BUZZFEED’
GOLDHAWK is almost tempted to pop over to Aviemore in Scotland next week for the annual Celtic Media Festival jamboree, where the great and good will be enjoying a “phenomenal celebration of Celtic media excellence”. Apparently, the shindig will host “some of the leading names... Read more »
IRISH TIMES RESUMES BANGING THE DRUM
No sooner had the guns fell silent on the European elections did the creep of militarism return to the pages of the Irish Times. The paper published no less than six articles in two days on the back of an extensive interview with former head... Read more »
NO CHANGE IN CLIMATE AT RTÉ
HOPES THAT the election outcome would herald the dawn of a mature debate on climate change were quickly dashed this week, as RTÉ returned to the same old Punch and Judy show. Things heated up on Monday’s Liveline programme, when, following the most successful Green... Read more »
RTE’S LIBEL REGIME
CHANGES ARE afoot at RTÉ where Eamonn Kennedy has left the role Director of Legal Affairs after 24 years.
He will be replaced by media Lawyer Paula Mullooly who is also stepping into the role of Group Secretary.
Previously working with A&L Goodbody, Mullooly has advised the station in its programme making for a number of years and has served two terms on the Compliance Committee at the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Nervous souls at the national broadcaster will also be encouraged that Mullooly served on the government’s Advisory Committee on the Defamation Bill in 2003.
FIANNA FAIL AND LIBEL REFORM
IN laudable proposals to “sustain high quality journalism in Irish public life”, Fianna Fail last July demanded a review of the libel laws in a cry from communications spokesman, Timmy Dooley, in support of “the democratic need for freedom of expression”. This was welcomed by... Read more »
RTÉ’S COMPLIANCE CONCERNS
FANS OF Irish daytime TV will be familiar with Today with Maura and Daithí, fronted by the dream team of Maura Derrane and Daithí Ó Sé. This is the daily, two-hour, RTÉ One show that “brings you the latest showbiz news, comment and opinion, Ireland’s biggest giveaways, inspirational fashion tips and recipes”. However, according to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland(BAI), the popular production may also be bringing viewers some product placement. This has resulted in the issuing of a warning notice.
Read more in the latest issue of The Phoenix.
REVIEW: WINGMAN – RTÉ ONE
THE LATEST Baz Ashmawy vehicle got off to a typically improbable start when the manic-eyed presenter assured viewers that, “with the right help, anything is possible”. This new exercise is depressingly similar to his hit show 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy – a huge commercial success thanks to Sky’s involvement.
Read the full review in the latest issue.
DANA’S CROSS-BORDER LIBELS
EX-PRESIDENTIAL candidate and singer, Dana, took the Sunday World for a sum not far off €200,000 plus mammoth legal costs in the Belfast High Court last November with the newspaper apologising for material on its website and Facebook page.
Despite this admission from the Sunday Worst, Independent News & Media (INM), owners of Sunday Newspapers – its subsidiary that publishes the Worst – is resisting exactly the same libel action in the Dublin High Court.
Read more about it in the latest issue.
And you can read more about ‘Dana’s Libel Saga’ from November last, here for free.
SAME OLD SONG: ‘ANTI-SEMITISM’
IRISH TIMES opinion formers lapsed into pro-Israeli sentiment recently, not for the first time, as defenders of Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision song contest dominated the newspaper’s columns. Supporters of BDS (Boycott, Divestment Sanctions) were relegated to the letters pages and occasional quotes rejecting allegations of extremism.
The IT published a lengthy interview with Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Ophir Kariv, in which he denounced boycott supporters as “a very extreme minority”. This was followed by another substantial column by staff journalist, Mark Paul, who claimed that boycotting Eurovision in Israel paralleled the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in the 1930s.
Two lengthy opinion pieces from resident PC polemicists, Fintan O’Toole and Hugh Linehan, agonised over the arguments on both sides but failed to say whether they agreed or disagreed with the boycott.
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‘SEXED UP’ DEBATES
RTÉ have taken some flak and even a High Court challenge in recent weeks over the selection of panels for election coverage. Labour’s Dominic Hannigan was incensed following his exclusion from a Week in Politics debate and penned a letter accusing the station of “sexing up its coverage” and “making up the rules as it went along”.
RTÉ have justified their decisions based on past and present electoral performance. However, even Luke ‘Ming’ Flannagan, an outgoing MEP, tweeted his surprise after RTÉ shared a photo of rival candidates preparing for a debate in studio yesterday.
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