Mick’s thread on candidates in Newry and Armagh is diverging from the topic due to a post-script to an article in the Sunday Tribune – republished by Newshound. But the postscript raises important questions about the relationship between political parties, the press and the public. Additionally, there are, potentially, professional repercussions for individual journalists if a political party blacklists a paper because of something that journalist has written. According to the post-script, and a similar note in the Sunday Times Sue Denham column, Sinn Féin is refusing to co-operate with either paper during the entire election campaign.From the Sunday Times’ Sue Denham column – thanks ‘concerned’
Time was when Sinn Fein’s constant refrain was media censorship – both the refusal of the British and Irish governments to let them on TV and the “insidious self censorship” of newspapers that didn’t interview Shinner spokesmen often enough.
Academic reputations were built on counting how mamy times Sinn Fein was mentioned in various news outlets and how few calls its press office received. Now it is the Shinners who are beating off the media. The Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune have been denied access to candidates during the current Stormont election. Even Martina Anderson, the party’s “outreach officer” who is appealing to unionist to talk to her refuses to speak to either paper about her work or her candidacy in Foyle.
and from the Tribune
Sinn Féin’s viewpoint is absent from this article because it was the only party which refused access to the Sunday Tribune. It said it would not make candidates in any constituency available for interview and it would not cooperate with the newspaper during the entire election campaign. It’s an ironic position for a party which, for decades, complained of media bans and censorship. Sinn Féin is also refusing to co-operate with the Sunday Times.