An Phoblacht – expanding through consolidation or going digital, then gone?

Back in early 2005 the ‘republican’ (Sinn Féin supporting) Daily Ireland launched with high expectations. Within a year it dropped its Saturday edition claiming ‘consolidation’. A few months later that consolidation became closure with a promise of:

A web presence will continue at www.dailyireland.com

That web presence didn’t last long.Now after a SF Ard Fheis motion:

34. This Ard Fheis commends the setting up of a Media Unit in light of the increasing importance of new media technologies in 21st century politics.
Comhairle Ceantair na nOllscoileanna

PASSED

An Phoblacht has decided to drastically scale back its print editions and go for online focus.

IN a significant development, An Phoblacht, the voice of republicanism, is soon to be transformed. In the coming weeks the print edition of the republican paper will become a monthly publication and a brand new An Phoblacht website will be launched, including an online daily news service; up-to-the-minute videos featuring interviews; historic film footage; and an archive section with access to thousands of photographs and historic republican material including back issues of An Phoblacht/Republican News.

Given SF’s already excellent online offering it is hard to see how transforming An Phoblacht into a competitor will work. I’d suggest we could be seeing the death throws of ‘Irelands biggest selling political weekly’ as it goes mainly digital and then is inevitably consumed by a party website that will attract more hits.

Or as they hope it could just get even ‘better’.

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