Monthly Archives: November 2014

The campaign goes on

Former Progressive Democrat and current Irish Independent columnist Liz O’Donnell gave a perfect example of ‘the press’ that we discussed in ‘Irish Water has brought us together‘ in today’s paper. It’s got it all:

  • ‘Unsavoury violent aggressive element’
  • ‘fomenting anarchy and intimidation’
  • ‘Loony left’
  • ‘Rabble rousing’
  • ‘Hardliners stoking up unrest’
  • ‘Pandering to populism’
  • ‘Jubilant defiance in a scary way’
  • ‘Nihilistic populism’

The Irish Times’ Cliff Taylor also has a great example of the press infantilising the public: “Why Government cant deliver on voters’ Santa list“. There’s loads of such commentary in the archives. Here’s another one from the Irish Examiner’s Jim Power: “Keep budget goodies on the shelf until 2016“.

(h/t @hiredknave)

Advertisements

Irish Water has brought us together

B1TdXE_IcAALtTp

For five years the press has warned the public that since “we all partied”, we must now all make sacrifices. In 2008 the relentless billowing of the property bubble naturally segued into an equally relentless build-up to the next “courageous[ly] masochis[tic]” budget.

But when the post-Tiger ‘we’ is not acquiescing to the next austerity measure, it is largely absent. It is often silent or simply gagged, and sometimes, it is even denied it exists at all.

There is no property or travel supplement for the post-tiger ‘we’. Because ‘we’ do not experience austerity. The effects of public service cuts, regressive taxation and emigration are experienced by ‘them’. And ‘they’ do not own or operate the press.

Sometimes, when we talk about the press, journalists respond by saying:

“you can’t talk about ‘the press’ as if it’s a collective entity, ‘the press’ is made up of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations, with a diversity of politics and agenda”**

So, for the purposes of this article, perhaps it might be less controversial to speak of ‘the press’ simply as shorthand for ‘those media organisations owned by Denis O’Brien and the State’*. Because Ireland’s media landscape is arguably dominated by just one vista, from Leinster House looking out towards Malta.

Continue reading…