Journalistic abilities in Ireland
Some of the comments on my previous post about Barry McSweeney have struck an old chord, that of the abilities of journalists in Ireland. I'll have to admit that good journalists are a very rare species in this country but unfortunately its not just Irish problem. The merging of many media companys in Ireland (look to the local radios and provisional papers) and in the wider world (Aol - Time/Warner) has lead to a narrowing of editorial policies which has resulted in the rather limited selection of stories covered by the media. In Ireland, one only has to take a IT section of a major broadsheet to see it syndicating stories rather than producing local content.
Fortunately the Internet and alternative mass media opportunites exist with web pages, weblogs (blogs), podcasts (audio clips with metadata) amongst the latest of there platforms of media. It will only be when the established media begins to explore and invite participation using this new medium will we see the spread of coverage that should allow important but often neglected stories to receive the media spotlight. I'd like to note that the Guardian and the BBC are already following down this path and there are several talks on ITConversations.com that discuss this topic. Ireland has a growing community of bloggers which are beginning to feed into the mainstream media but unfortunately it is a rather predatory cycle as it is normally a one way process by the mainstream media. We can discuss the matters as bloggers/citizen journalists but until the media stops merely consuming this produce and that from standard press releases and from Internet sources it'll be a long winter before we see actual journalism in this country again.
I'd like to say there are honest decent journalists who do research and investigate stories but they are by far the exception to the rule rather than the norm.