Thursday, December 01, 2005

What it doesn't say in the Papers

Today’s Village and Phoenix magazines make for very interesting reading on the role of the media in the Irish Ferries ‘dispute’.

Earlier this week I noted the removal of Gerald Flynn as the correspondent covering the dispute for the Independent group of newspapers. It now seems that Justine McCarthy has had a column on corporate greed spiked and also been informed she will no longer be writing a column in the Saturday Independent. An emergency meeting of the NUJ chapel at Independent Newspapers has been called.

It is also now clear that there are crossovers between the board membership of Independent group and Irish Continental Group who own Irish Ferries. Smelling a rat yet? I hope so.

Paddy Prenderville, editor of Phoenix, and Roy Greenslade (Professor of Journalism in London City Univeristy) were speculating on this situation on Eamon Dunphy’s show on Newstalk this morning (podcasts available on Greenslade examined the coverage of the dispute in the Irish Times and the Irish Independent whilst Flynn was writing on the dispute and found little difference in the reporting. Prenderville does not believe that the Examiner or the Irish Times will comment on the interference of the board in the coverage of the story or the decisions made by the Irish Independents new editor.

The really stinking thing about this whole issue? The establishment of an in house investigation into Flynn’s writing on the dispute. The membership of the investigation committee being the same as that investigating the Liam Lawlor debacle. And it is thought that no heads are going to roll on the rubbish printed about the circumstances of Lawlor’s death.


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