Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


Come on BBC NI give us the bad news on our beaches…?

Tue 15 April 2014, 9:37am

Tweet So, here’s what the listeners to Radio 4 got this morning on the new Good Beach guide report, picking out Northern Ireland as a noteable weak point in the overall UK figures… .@mickfealty – @BBCr4today puts NI beach water quality stats in context wholly, sadly missing from @BBCNewsNI report — Patrick Corrigan (@PatrickCorrigan) […] more »

Phil Mac Giolla Bhain showing what ‘socially present journalism’ looks like…

Wed 9 April 2014, 5:33pm

Tweet “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations       So a little vicarious glory via sometimes Slugger blogger Phil Mac Giolla Bhain who has made it to number 10 in the Press Gazette’s top social journalists (not bad […] more »

Pilot offers a ‘smoke in the cabin” scenario for #MH370 on G+….

Tue 18 March 2014, 8:31am

Tweet Okay, here’s a quick slightly off beat post for us. It comes from the Google Plus page of Chris Goodfellow, who apparently (I’ve not had time to verify) is a professional pilot based in Florida.  I picked it up late last night from a retweet from Lorcan Roche Kelly who in turn had retweeted […] more »

New journalism: The odd or the offbeat is often where the important news is buried these days.

Fri 14 March 2014, 9:13am
Reuters Institute

Tweet As it happens, I’m on my way to the Reuters Institute at Oxford to join a small round table workshop on the Future of Journalistic Work, with the general idea of helping the Institute to “scope issues related to the shifts emerging in journalistic work and employment”. And as it also happens, Lyra McKee […] more »

In journalism “claims towards neutrality and impartiality and objectivity are bogus.”

Mon 10 March 2014, 10:30am

Tweet I’ve only met Roy Greenslade once. Ironically it was in the British embassy in Paris for a round table (PDF) on the future of UK and French journalism. He’s every bit as intelligent and convivial as he comes across in his blog. This week he was in the news, rather than just commenting on […] more »

“a party that does not understand for what it is fighting has no right to win…”

Thu 19 December 2013, 4:09pm

Tweet Ever since spending nine hours in the basement of Belfast central Library scouring the pages of the News Letter over the Famine periood, I’ve been a big fan of the direct style of Victorian journalism. This extract is from page 9 of The Spectator magazine in August 1891: We suppose it is not, on […] more »

Peter Robinson, keeping the press accountable – Caption Competition

Tue 26 November 2013, 10:38am
Peter Robinson - 'Kittens', Brian John Spencer

Tweet Never mind the “unpleasant odour” rising from Northern Ireland’s libel law (and the urge to censor), there’s something a little stinky coming from Peter Robinson’s call for the media to show more support for Stormont. As Orwell said, “journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” Surely […] more »

[Soapbox] Shinners, please don’t blame the messenger!

Tue 15 October 2013, 8:10am

Tweet Gerry Adams is a liar.  There.  I’ve said it.  Cue the wolf circling the sheep and herding them all in.  He’s never been in the IRA. (yeah, right) He was in jail when ‘Always look on the Bright Side Of Life’ was written (not true).  He is reported to have told the family of […] more »

Gerry Adams on David Frost who came at his guests “as if it were a summer’s day…”

Mon 2 September 2013, 5:30pm

Tweet Gerry Adams has taken a little time out on the occasion of the passing of David Frost to share his further thoughts on what constitutes good journalism… I was interviewed by David many times. He was always courteous, good humoured, well researched and keenly interested in Ireland and the peace process. There was always […] more »

The collapsing broad middle and the rise of the disruptive troll as undocumented feature

Fri 9 August 2013, 10:10am

Tweet “For you, in my respect, are all the world; Then how can it be said I am alone, When all the world is here to look on me?” - ACT II SCENE I, Midsummer Night’s Dream So, trolling? First, it’s not about a single typography called bloggers, yet it is about blogging (however you […] more »

“As usual, few things are as unreliable as Obama’s speeches and rhetoric…”

Thu 30 May 2013, 6:52pm

Tweet At the Big G’s Comment is Free, Glenn Greenwald follows up on his excellent analysis of US President Barack Obama’s recent ‘war on terror’ speech to focus in on one of those domestic political problems I mentioned – “the serious threat posed by the Obama administration to press freedoms”.  From Glenn Greenwald’s post Outside of […] more »

When all your readers are rapidly becoming self directed autodidacts?

Wed 16 January 2013, 4:50pm
Writing slate 280_tcm4-560771

Tweet From stone slate to silicon tablet and the importance of getting over a widespread platonic fear of making your ‘digital mark’ so happens that the generational progression in my family means that whilst my granddad started school in March 1879 in the first state school in his rural district, my youngest has yet to […] more »

“On newspaper opinion pages, including this one, a shrill keening sound can be heard…”

Thu 10 January 2013, 1:06pm

Tweet Today Hugh Linehan in the Irish Times today channels the commonplace American role of reader’s editor, taking on two of the papers most respected columnists, John Waters and Davy Adams. I think this goes in the lesson boxed marked write about you know (don’t write about what you don’t): On chat show panels and […] more »

National Newspapers of Ireland deploy the survival instincts of the Dodo…

Fri 4 January 2013, 10:11am

Tweet So it’s Friday. On Sunday Simon McGarr wrote a fascinating piece in which he revealed that some of his professional clients were under pressure from Newspaper Licensing Ireland Ltd (NLI), a collection agent for the Newspaper publishers to pay for linking in to a number of newspaper articles about them. The piece went viral, and […] more »

#Leveson: A mixed response to the British Press’s mass indulgence in criminal activity…

Sat 1 December 2012, 10:15am

Tweet Worth waiting for Charlie Beckett to shoot down the idea that reforms in line with the current Irish system would suffice… - Guido has a scathing an op ed in the Sun today (sister paper of the now dead NOTW), noting the paucity of work in the Leveson Report on New Media. And pride […] more »

Blessed are the newsbreakers; but which ones can you trust in the age of Twitter?

Mon 12 November 2012, 3:13pm

Tweet There’s a number of great pieces online about where new authority is emerging to challenge the older models, particularly in the wake of the US election and superstorm Sandy. Forbes had this to say in response to a mainstream anchor thanking people for ‘helping out’: News flash for my local news anchors: the “amateurs” […] more »

Irish Times launches its new format and remains a broadsheet…

Mon 5 November 2012, 10:52am
Irish Times Daily Telegraph

Tweet Great to see the Irish Times finally make a move it has been contemplating for some time. Briefly, it’s changed the format of the print version of the paper from classic broadsheet to a compact version. So now it is almost exactly the same size as London’s Daily Telegraph: The new size resolves a […] more »

America’s standoff between the shills and the gamblers…

Fri 2 November 2012, 1:14pm

Tweet I’m afraid there will be no #DigitalLunch today due illness (mine) in the kitchen… So I’ve a couple short posts to share that I’ve collected over the last few days. One of the things that’s been exercising comment in America is the dominance of number cruncher in chief Nate Silver, who’s dominance of the […] more »

Donald Trump movie and the ill-defined concept of the ‘public interest’…

Wed 24 October 2012, 3:21pm

Tweet If you have watched You’ve Been Trumped yet, you should. There are many strong points to this documentary on not just how Donald Trump threw his weight around with local residents whose homes bordered his development in Aberdeenshire. But of most interest to me is the degree to which the Scottish media and Scottish […] more »

Culture Night Belfast & the right to freedom of expression #CNB12

Thu 20 September 2012, 12:38pm

Tweet Culture Night Belfast (and in a few other towns besides) is almost upon us. Tomorrow night is a chance for thousands of people to take to the streets, bars, cafes, offices and other nooks and crannies around the city to experience all sorts of arts and cultural experiences. While most events are concentrated on […] more »

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