If there was a winner of tonight’s debate it was Cliché. Though Lothario might be a close runner up. There were no knock out blows. Few punches caused any leader to wobble towards the ropes. Instead they parried them away with relative ease. While the lack of a studio audience eliminated oohs and ahs and mischievous clapping, it did also mean that the questions could be crisply delivered by Marc Mallett who kept the rough and tumble in the playground as well-behaved as could be expected.
Week Two of the On The Doors podcast with Irish News political correspondent, John Manley and former NUS-USI President, Adrianne Peltz. This week we discussed the launch of the UUP and SDLP manifestos as well as, the impact of the UTV debate. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs
BBC: We’ve come a long way from the days of finding our news from street vendors shouting ‘Sixth Tele’, leaving the Northern Ireland Teletext page running in the corner of the room or waiting for the next Radio Ulster bulletin to find out why a road was closed or a bang was heard echoing across Belfast.
Ireland got a new TV channel tonight with the arrival of UTV Ireland. I blogged about its availability in the North last month, if you’re interested. I didn’t watch the opening night, but local film buff, Dan McGinn did and he has some interesting musings on UTV Ireland’s battle with TV3 and RTE over on his blog; UTV Ireland will rely very heavily on ITV output such as ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Emmerdale’, ‘Harry Hill’s Stars In Their Eyes’ and ‘I’m A … Read more
Sometimes you scroll along your Twitter feed and find a small piece of information that just grabs your eye. Today was one of those days as I saw on UTV Ireland’s twitter feed the response that viewers in Northern Ireland would not be able to recieve programming from the new channel. This tweet caused a bit of a stir on Twitter with some folks protesting that the new channel would not be available in Northern Ireland. So, providing the essential … Read more
UTV is in the news today. The Belfast Telegraph’s Margaret Canning reports that “the long-standing role of head of news [has been] discarded” resulting in Darwin Templeton being made compulsory redundant. Previously editor of The News Letter and former editor of UTV’s Insight current affairs strand, Darwin took up his role in UTV’s newsroom in early 2012. UTV News is popular with viewers, consistently achieving a higher share of teatime audiences for its 6pm bulletin than its rival BBC Newsline at … Read more
Last night’s Thatcher’s Ireland from UTV has breadth, nuance, great editorial intellectual content and some of the most acute insight on Thatcher you’ll hear in the next week. It’s a revelation of the machiavellian core of politics… Paisley, dismisses the Hunger Strike as ‘a purely political stunt’… Mrs Thatcher’s actions at the most critical of times influenced through a chain of allegiances through the United States.. You can watch the whole programme in the following chapters… 1. Beginnings. Denis Tuohy … Read more
Just a quick note of the BBC reporting that Garda have failed in their attempt to force the BBC and UTV to hand over unbroadcast video footage of rioting in Dublin during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit last year. From the BBC report The request which was made through the Home Office failed after Senior Belfast Judge Tom Burgess agreed with the case put by the broadcasters. He found UK courts cannot force the handing over of journalistic material to foreign organizations. Just … Read more
You start this off thinking the introduction goes on too long, and then you spend the rest of it thinking it didn’t go on long enough… They say that if you remember the sixties you weren’t there… Well, hand on heart, I was there in the 80s, and I really, really don’t remember this… But YOU may know differently… H/T John, and Popbitch… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet … Read more
Today we start the UTV Twitter Roadtrip… It culminates this evening with a small conversational group at the Park Avenue Hotel (almost booked up, but with a few waiting list places). You can follow the interviews with ordinary folk and politicians by using the #UTVtrip hashtag on Twitter… Here’s a bit of what our intention behind the project is: If you want to hook up with me during the day, you can direct message or just ping me on my … Read more
I’ve been away for a few days and this story has been rolling on without me taking such a close interest in it. It has been an extraordinary few months. For me it began with a tip off on Friday 2nd July that I should get a hold of footage of the PAC meeting from the previous day. Thanks to prompt service from the Beeb the democracy live footage was available that evening. I sat down to watch it after … Read more
It’s worth looking at what purports to be a communication from Laurence McKenzie in an internal memo to his staff… and that of the Minister on UTV… Both, it seems, are pinning their hopes on the PAC’s report (another of Mr Priestley’s attempts to manage the outcomes of other people’s work). But as the News Letter notes this morning, the Minister’s explanation is undermined by the e-mail exchanges between Laurence McKenzie and Peter Dixon… Not mention Paul Priestley’s suggested changes, which the … Read more
I’ve heard a few dismissive comments on last night’s programme on how the Permanent Secretary directed the so called Independent Review Team to re-write their report so that all criticism would transfer from him to the Board of NI Water. But for me, here’s the nub: Paul Priestley’s changes to the IRT, which I would recommend anyone who still has doubts about Mr Priestley’s culpability in this regard. Here’s Jamie Delargy: In documents obtained by UTV we can disclose how he … Read more
There’s enough in the UTV programme for a great deal more threads. But here’s something that was new even to Slugger. It relates to McKenzie’s bizarre resignation over what amounts to a few minor irregularities in procurement (by which I mean these were monies legally spent, and which the Department was not in a position to claim back)… MacKenzie had enough and resigned on Monday morning Jan 18. He told the Department for Regional Development which oversees the water company. … Read more
Niall Ó Donnghaile pointed out earlier tonight that UTV have got a bit ahead of themselves and started to address Martin McGuinness as “First Minister”. In an online news article about the Irish President’s visit to the Balmoral Show, they explained The President of Ireland addressed an audience which included First Minister Martin McGuinness and Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew. With Sinn Fein’s strong polling at the Westminster election – coming out as the local party with the greatest number of … Read more
If I were to judge the generic effectiveness of TV debates as the potential fulcrum of future politics we might look no further than our own backyard squabble on UTV last night. For us, there were no surprises. The highlights were the set piece questions: Adams on the IRA and Robinson on the five pound strip of land. But these had nothing much to do with the election. And both were necessarily truncated by side shifting and the commercial breaks. … Read more