Daily Ireland causing stir in media…

AS Daily Ireland – the latest pro-republican newspaper from the Andytown News stable – launches this week, the Guardian takes a look at the crowded local market and sees worried competition. The most direct competition is the Irish News, set to go tabloid, as is the Belfast Telegraph with a new morning edition. The News Letter‘s layout has also changed dramatically recently. A busy time for subs desks all round…

MediaGuardian reports:

It is no coincidence that this hardline paper is appearing now. Sinn Fein has become the overwhelming choice for nationalist voters in Northern Ireland, which presents a problem for the Irish News, long held as the voice of the moderate SDLP. O’Muilleoir may make all the right noises about an island-wide paper, but he knows the majority of his readers are going to come, initially at least, from the north. At the centre of the scrap between Daily Ireland and its more mainstream rival will be a battle for the hearts and minds of a nationalist community in flux. The Irish News, says Belfast-based media commentator Mike Philpott, has been “advertising its Irishness quite aggressively” recently in an attempt to retain potentially fleeing readers.

Noel Doran, the Irish News editor, is circumspect about the chances of his new rival. “It’s difficult to see how every new title can prosper. It depends on whether the product is good enough.”

However Doran and his team are obviously worried. One of their most vigorous campaigns of late has been to shout down Daily Ireland’s application for a £3m start-up grant from the government. “Newspapers stand on their own two feet,” he says.

  • cgmoron

    A 3million pound grant are you having a laugh. What a joke. And the money to come from the government!! These people have no shame they claim to be republicans will not take seats in Westminster but will take any government grant going.
    They are Nazis period. And b4 anyone comes on to chastise me for calling republicans Nazis here is my qualification. They combine both political and military agitation to achieve their goals. SF without the IRA are an insignificant political organisation.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    cgmoron

    You are Michael McDowell and I claim my £5.

    “These people” are not (or no longer are) Sinn Fein politicians, as you suggest, but journalists who work for a paper with a pro-republican outlook. Unless you can provide evidence of the Government grants going to SInn Fein, I suggest you read before typing in future.

    Mary McAleese can cause a media storm by comparing groups of people to Nazis. That’s because she is President of Ireland.

    On the other hand, contributors on a blog making similar accusations are more likely to be greeted with a *yawn* and someone citing Godwin’s Law. Especially if it’s as puerile a statement as the one above.

    Thank you.

  • Davros

    The Irish News, currently the only voice for nationalists in Northern Ireland, is dumping its stuffy reputation and midi-size Berliner format and going tabloid – as well as what one commentator describes as “re-asserting its Irishness” (Irish nationalism).

    It would be a shame if the Irish News became “Greener”. It is the most cross-community paper we have.

  • Alan2

    The News Letter has definitely changed it`s layout.

  • willowfield

    Daily Ireland – terrible name.

    Gonzo

    “These people” are not (or no longer are) Sinn Fein politicians, as you suggest, but journalists who work for a paper with a pro-republican outlook. Unless you can provide evidence of the Government grants going to SInn Fein, I suggest you read before typing in future.

    Everyone knows the ATN stable is a Provo operation. Of course, the likes of former PSF Councillor Martain O’Mullior relinquished his Provo SF membership before taking up the editorship, but that doesn’t make him any less a Provo.

    ATN works hand-in-glove with the Provos – same as West Belfast Economic Forum, Upper Springfield Trust, Culturlann and countless other “community groups” in west Belfast. The Provos run the place.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Yeah, I think the News Letter looks much better. Don’t know for sure, but things seem somewhat delayed with the Tele’s tabloid edition.

    Is the Irish News getting a new press to print the tabloid edition?

  • cgmoron

    Belfast Gonzo,
    Thank you for the compliment Michael McDowell is a fine Irishman. I look forward to the the day when he puts his words into action and starts prosecuting criminal SF/IRA.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    WF

    Ohmigod! Are you saying newspapers have political outlooks? That they aren’t neutral? That they might *shock horror*, be less than objective or even *gasp* biased?

    I am horrified. Ban them all now.

    The editor of the News Letter is the former head of the PSNI press office. The News Letter is a unionist newspaper. Obviously, it’s a bigger conspiracy than even you think(!)

  • Davros

    Must admit, I’m sceptical about claims that this isn’t a SF paper. Is Mairtin’s non-membership as tactical as Catri/Caitri/Caitríona Ruanes non-membership of SF in the past ?

  • willowfield

    You seem to miss the point, Gonzo.

    The News Letter, whether or not its editor is a former PSNI press officer, is not a political vehicle of either the UUP or the DUP.

    The ATN is a Provo political vehicle – started up by the Provos, it is part-and-parcel of Provo the propaganda strategy. Only one remove away from An Phoblacht.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    WF

    Errrrmmmm… you’re kidding, ain’tcha?

    The News Letter is swaying in the direction of the DUP, having supported the UUP under Martin’s editorship.

    The Belfast Telegraph is largely supportive of the UUP.

    The Irish News is plainly SDLP.

    Yet you have a problem with a paper having a pro-Sinn Fein position? Of course it will take a political stand – every newspaper does.

    If you are suggesting that the involvement of republicans in a pro-republican newspaper is not reflected by unionists working in pro-union papers, you really need to get to know your media.

    John Taylor owns Alpha Newspapers, for example.

    If you are trying to hint at something else, you should spit it out.

  • The Devil

    Daily Ireland..

    Do we need another paper… err.. em.. NO

    Do Sinn Fein need an all Ireland Any Trash News… err.. em.. YES

    It’s for the forthcoming elections boys and girls, total control of all content going into a new media enterprise aimed at the south at an election time can help the Shinners no end

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The people will decide if this enterprise is successful or not.
    Siren voices about the content or motives of the stable show that a lot of people were quite content to have the consensus that came with a unionist dominated local media.
    It is an alternative to the Irish News, a paper that people I know believed did not represent their views or opinions.

  • willowfield

    Dear, dear, Gonzo, are you being naive or coy?

    You can see the distinction, can’t you, between a newspaper taking an editorial line in favour of a particular party, and a newspaper actually being set up BY a political party, staffed by its personnel, and de facto under party control?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Like you can prove any of that…

    Presumably the ATN abides by the Fair Employment rules that nationalists fought for. Anyway, aside from Mairtin and Robin, you can’t possibly know who else on the staff is in SF.

    And while the ATN rarely deviates from the SF line – so what? The South Belfast News is ATN-owned, and is a very different paper from the ATN, while retaining a republican editorial line.

    I think it is unfair to judge the paper before even seeing it.

    Remember the ‘Protestant Telegraph’?

  • Davros

    “Remember the ‘Protestant Telegraph’? “

    Did that get Government grants ?

  • James

    “Remember the ‘Protestant Telegraph’?”

    Barstool chuckies in San Francisco still talk of the Protestant Times.

    Perhaps it is now time to recall the Irish Press … ah yes, Plus ca change

    TTFN, gotta catch the next mobius thread to the wormhole.

  • Jacko

    Belfast Gonzo

    “Presumably the ATN abides by the Fair Employment rules that nationalists fought for.”

    You presume wrong, the embarassment of Mairtin on Talk Back recently when having to admit that they employ “about 4 or 5” Protestants out of a workforce of around 60 was palpable.

  • Davros

    4 or 5 ? I wonder if that is more or less protestants than are on SF’s books ? 😉

  • Davros

    Seems to be an embarrassed silence jacko LOL

  • davidbrew

    Well I’ve now read my copy and I have to say that it’s really a poor effort. The much vaunted design is actually a pretty anonymous sub-Sunday Tribune look. The content lacks the edge of the Derry Journal in particular,,which is the standard any serious nationalist newspaper should aspire to reach-excellent news coverage, top columnists , and a pervasive ethos in every story. News Ireland has average sports, cut’n’paste stories about Colin Farrell(natch) and such celebs. 7 out of the 48 pages are on GAA matters. There’s virtually no advertising, and while that means more reading, it is not good news for a launch issue to be so bare of revenue. Finally, while I am now aware that today is St Brigid’s day, I think it’s a bit OTT to have 2 features -one in Irish, one in English- on the saint.

    If it’s aiming for a young market it’s nowhere near tongue in cheek enough -with no crisp writing a la Mirror or Sun, and its feature on a Dundalk lapdancer is rather akin to Daily Telegraph stories on sex- not well donwe, but amazing that it’s done at all.

    All in all, if I were HMG., I’d want my £3million quid back, and if I were Noel Doran I’d be wearing the biggest smile in Belfast this morning.

  • davidbrew

    Well I’ve now read my copy and I have to say that it’s really a poor effort. The much vaunted design is actually a pretty anonymous sub-Sunday Tribune look. The content lacks the edge of the Derry Journal in particular,,which is the standard any serious nationalist newspaper should aspire to reach-excellent news coverage, top columnists , and a pervasive ethos in every story. News Ireland has average sports, cut’n’paste stories about Colin Farrell(natch) and such celebs. 7 out of the 48 pages are on GAA matters. There’s virtually no advertising, and while that means more reading, it is not good news for a launch issue to be so bare of revenue. Finally, while I am now aware that today is St Brigid’s day, I think it’s a bit OTT to have 2 features -one in Irish, one in English- on the saint.

    If it’s aiming for a young market it’s nowhere near tongue in cheek enough -with no crisp writing a la Mirror or Sun, and its feature on a Dundalk lapdancer is rather akin to Daily Telegraph stories on sex- not well donwe, but amazing that it’s done at all.

    All in all, if I were HMG., I’d want my £3million quid back, and if I were Noel Doran I’d be wearing the biggest smile in Belfast this morning.

  • vespasian

    DB

    Were you contributing to SF coffers or was it a free copy?

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I’m not aware whether any grant aid has been paid to Daily Ireland, David. But I’m sure its backers are grateful for your contribution.

  • Davros

    Oddly enough David, I don’t see a feature on St Nrigid in today’s Irish News. They do a strong story on sectarian murders.

  • mickhall

    DavidBrew,

    Thanks, interesting, especially about the lack of advertising. Come on, lets be generous, a new paper has to be good news, if only for print workers, journalist, etc. At a guess I would think most of us at slugger would decry when a newspaper closes, so surly we should give a cheer when one starts up. Yes, it supports SF and is very close to them, that is what equality is all about, get used to it. Or would some rather have the old ways. Better an ex Provo retrained as a printer, etc, than sticking to their old trade. Sure they have not gone away yet, but perhaps ventures like this might help them on their way.

    A question I would ask is this, it is all very well Daily Ireland offering space to columnists from the Unionist community, but that community will not be the market it is aiming at. How about them offering space to their critics from within the Nationalist community and I do not just mean the SDLP. Now if someone like Anthony McIntrye were to be given a column, we would know the paper was serious about democratic accountability.

  • PS

    7 out of the 48 pages are on GAA matters.

    Sounding better and better the more i hear! Haven’t read the paper as of yet, but some of the comments on this thread are laughable. Amazing the outrage and jump to cirticism of some at those daring to put forward a republican view in the media.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    mickhall,

    the clarion cry for years has been that the ‘two communities just don’t understand each other’. In that respect the Daily Ireland offering column inches to unionist contributors will help to overcome those misunderstandings.

    Anthony Mc Intyre has let it be known that he despises the ATN network, why on earth would he want to write for them? Are you suggesting that he should be invited to tell them how crap they are?

  • mickhall

    Pat,

    Why not, Paul Foot was given a column in the Mirror years ago to do just that, as too was Leon Trotsky in the Daily Express circa 1930’s. Pat, that is the nature of the best of the capitalist media, admittedly they do not like it up them to often, as demonstrated when Foot got fired from the Mirror and Mark Steel from the Guardian. But yes, I do say unless the Daily Ireland employ’s someone of the calibre (in my opinion) of Anthony McIntrye they will be considered as nothing more than a one party mouthpiece. (within their own community)

    All the best

  • slug9987

    MickH

    I doubt if Anthony McIntyre would write for an O’Muilleoir paper after the comments he has made about the ATN Group. They might, however, ask you to write for them.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think the layout’s not bad at all, although it did seem reminiscent, as DB said, of the Trib a while back. I only read the news sections of papers generally, and the content was OK. It will take time to get used though, and the lack of advertising is what will kill the paper if it doesn’t get more, and fast.

    Perhaps the paper’s association with republicanism could be its eventual downfall if businesses don’t advertise.

    I wouldn’t blame McIntyre for not being on first names terms with Squinter. Wasn’t he denied his right to reply when he was criticised in the ATN?

    Frankly, I kinda hope the ATN starts a campaign against Slugger. It seems to have done McIntyre and Newton Emerson no harm at all.

    Jacko – That doesn’t mean the ATN group are in breach of the regulations, just highly unpopular with Protestant applicants.

    WF – You’re not convincing me.

  • mickhall

    “MickH

    I doubt if Anthony McIntyre would write for an O’Muilleoir paper after the comments he has made about the ATN Group. They might, however, ask you to write for them.

    Posted by: slug9987″

    Hi slug9987
    Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear, why would they do that, to prove to themselves Im the opportunist so and so they keep calling me. No, if they wish credibility, there are far better writers than I, who understand the situation much better, who if they(Daily Ireland) genuinely wish to build bridges or include the full range of opinion within the nationalist community they could approach.

  • slug9987

    Gonzo

    “I kinda hope the ATN starts a campaign against Slugger. It seems to have done McIntyre and Newton Emerson no harm at all.”

    I think these two individuals would have made it anyway based on their native intellect. ATN seem to go by the second part of Oscar Wilde’s dictum: “I choose my friends for their good looks and my enemies for their intellects”.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    slug

    I get the feeling I’m being implicitly described as stupid here…!

    LOL

  • Davros

    Speaking of Newt, the latest Portadown News is a cracker!

  • slug9987

    Newt is very talented there is no doubt. As is McIntyre. MickH McIntyre is certainly worth reading. I wonder if the Irish News or Belfast Telegraph would consider him? Gonzo: ATN would not waste its time on Slugger O’Toole – too bland, too unthreatening.

  • Fraggle

    Picked up my copy at Forestside this evening.

    I’m reasonable impressed. There seems to be more news content than the Irish News but we’ll have to see if it stays that way.

    In the weather section they spell the province ‘Connaught’. I thought that that was the evil imperialist anglicization. No? Maybe I have it the wrong way around.

    The pole dancing article is downright sleazy. I’m no puritan but the article is out of place.

    Why put a lapdancing article (and a reference to it no less) in your historic first edition? Bizarre. Why not have the colonic irrigation article mentioned on the cover?

    They need a new cartoonist. The cartoon is pathetic.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘No, if they wish credibility, there are far better writers than I, who understand the situation much better, who if they(Daily Ireland) genuinely wish to build bridges or include the full range of opinion within the nationalist community they could approach.’

    To include the full range of opinion that would include the SDLP. Given that SF and the SDLP represent the overwhelming majority of nationalists and will probably get a column or two each week, on a pro rata bais someone like Mc Intyre would be entitled to a column every 5 years or so. That could possibly happen.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    slug

    I’m glad someone else thinks the ATN isn’t as cutting edge as it used to be.

  • mickhall

    Posted by: Fraggle
    Why put a lapdancing article (and a reference to it no less) in your historic first edition? Bizarre

    Fraggle,

    Maybe the club was one of the businesses the Republican movement has diversified into of late and it needed a helping hand. (only kidding Pat;)

    Pat,

    Good joke about McIntrye and five years, but seriously, I doubt you feel public acclaim at the ballot box is the criteria a newspaper should use before offering a columnist a slot. If this were true some of the finest columnists from both the right and left would never have been given house room in the press. One of the main problems with TV journalism is they mainly stick to the centre, (government and opposition) thus it is all so predictable bar the odd exception.

    All the best.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    David Brewster

    I was thinking, was it not the layout of Ireland on Sunday a while back that reminded us of the Daily Ireland style, rather than the Trib?

  • willowfield

    “Daily Ireland” – terrible name.

  • Davros

    It’s a subtle dig at the Irish News WF –

    they consider it to be “Weakly Ireland ”

    Boom Boom!

  • Fraggle

    WF, are you going to keep saying, ‘terrible name’ or have you finished now?

    btw, I was incorrect about the pm thing.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    mickhall,

    You are absolutely sight and is something that should be highlighted in their letters page, in fact I will do that very letter myself.
    Tommy Mc Kearney was in todays issue, I think he would qualify under the alternative nationalist/republican/socialist banner.

    A newspaper of this type should be new in outlook and content.

  • willowfield

    What’s the pm thing?

  • Fraggle

    prime minister. from an earlier thread. i never got around to acknowledging your correction.