A legitimate complaint, or case of bullying from the top?

There is a fine line between the two. We (or rather I) claim Slugger as a critical friend to the embryonic process and to an often unfairly maligned political class; although at times when the heat is on one political party or another I concede, it doesn’t always feel like that. I have argued here and elsewhere (here and here) that Tony Blair was right when he described the press as something of a feral beast. But in Northern Ireland, the press has at times come under extraordinary pressure from all manner of angles, not least an often hair trigger threat of litigation.

Now Slugger has come into possession of an extraordinary letter (you can read the original in full below the fold) in which our two most senior political figures have sought to exert extraoridinary pressure on local journalists, not by writing to the editor, but to the proprietor of the biggest selling title in Northern Ireland. To his and the paper’s credit, we have no reports of that pressure being transmitted internally either upon the editor or any of those ‘dissident journalists’ who have bee asking those those notoriously silly questions… But you can judge for yourself exactly what was going on below the fold

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty