Posted on The Irish Times today in response to an article by Anne Marie Hourihane about the teachers’ conferences:
Atta girl, Anne-Marie – brownie points well earned there. Right on editorial message. Madam Editor will be delighted with you, rest assured. An entire class of public sector workers written off because they exercised their democratic right to express their feelings about disastrous government policy. Don’t think I’ve seen another column to equal this for sneering, ill-informed prejudice. Not a single line of it even remotely pretending to engage with the substantive issues that were debated at length at the teachers conferences. Not a word about what Don Ryan actually said during his address to the TUI. Anyone reading coverage of these events during the last week could be forgiven for thinking journalists typically have the concentration span of a gnat – and half the intelligence. I’ll give you a mark for originality though: contriving to make a victim out of Mary Coughlan is a great joke. And fundamentally sexist too: Coughlan was treated to a dose of the same, fully justified anger as is felt by men and women up and down the country and which every government minister is experiencing wherever they dare to show their faces.
Public sector workers no longer need to put up with being caricatured and insulted by journalists in order to find news, thank God. There are plenty of alternative sources of news to choose from. So Anne Marie, want to know how YOU look to us? Here’s a good analysis by Dr Gavin Titley of some of the Irish Times coverage of the teachers’ conferences. http://www.mediabite.org/article_-Keeping-it-Real–by-Dr-Gavan-Titley_823780188.html