In week where the IT are writing about the way Dunnes staff have been treated like s**t by the company and, in some cases, victimised for striking, is this (on page 19 of today’s Ticket) not massively inappropriate?
Fintan O’Toole accused us of putting party interests first; of lying and of being incapable of understanding the concepts of accountability, openness and honesty.
Each of these extraordinary anti-Sinn Féin polemics has been based on erroneous information and spurious claims.
On 7 March, the editorial made the outrageous, unsubstantiated and entirely false claim that a portion of Sinn Féin’s income was derived from illegal sources. There was no attempt to back up this slanderous accusation with any evidence.
On 11 March, another editorial claimed, completely erroneously, that Sinn Féin had “plunged the political process” in the North into crisis. The facts contradict this. The crisis was sparked by the DUP resiling from a key part of the Stormont House Agreement providing social protections for citizens. However, this is now history. The effort must be to fully implement the Stormont House Agreement. That is Sinn Féin’s focus.
Then, on 14 March, the paper claimed that Sinn Féin had refused to co-operate fully with law enforcement agencies in relation to the serious issue of sexual abuse. Not true. Sinn Féin and I have co-operated fully with An Garda Síochána in relation to these matters.
That the attacks on Sinn Féin will intensify as the election draws closer will be no surprise but, as the so-called ‘paper of record’, the Irish Times should not resort to misreporting, misleading comment or false accusations.
Gerry Adams TD,
The letter the Irish Times refuse to print apparently.
A letter from FEARGUS all the way in Waikanae, New Zealand.
Sir, – I read Una Mullally’s piece “RTÉ referendum memo sends out the wrong message”, (Opinion & Analysis, April 6th) in disbelief. It is many years since I worked in RTÉ but the memo she reports is by my memory quite simply bog standard.
The only difference that separates this version from that issued in my own days there is the onward march of technology, to wit social media, so-called.
I thought the passage of time might have coloured my memory, but no.
I have checked with a friend, a former senior editorial executive, who has assured me that I remain compos mentisand “it’s a restatement of the usual”.
Ms Mullally is outraged. I see the memo differently.
First, it provides a protection to the RTÉ workforce.
Second, and by far the most important aspect of a long-standing policy, it offers – or is intended to offer – some assurance to the Irish public that the organisation and its broadcast services can be trusted to be what public representatives intended when, in 1960 and periodically since, they enacted and amended laws establishing and maintaining RTÉ as a national public service broadcaster. Specifically that voters can trust its coverage during a campaign.
The stopwatch and other aspects of RTÉ’s house policy on electoral and referendum coverage during the official contest period is not only “the usual”, it is necessary. This is not about the Angelus, “young researchers frightened about job security” or any other coats trailed in the piece.
It is about RTÉ and the law (the Broadcasting Acts) and integrity (RTÉ as a public service broadcaster) as they relate to the critical moment of the democratic exercise.
Voters deserve the assurance that neither a very powerful public body nor its staff are being anything other than scrupulously disinterested during the referendum campaign. I don’t know whatThe Irish Times policy is, though it appears to be different, but then it is not a public service. – Yours, etc,
The media have not been shy about announcing their role in convincing the public that austerity is good for them.
At the outset of the crisis, in November 2008, an editorial the Irish Times, called for a campaign to ‘educate’ the population about the need for austerity and ‘civic discipline’.
The problem was that Irish people did ‘not appreciate the possible extent of the economic downturn’ because only 10% of them thought the budget should be tougher while two-thirds thought it should be less tough, according to a national poll.
The editors thus concluded that ‘the Government will have a major job to do in educating public opinion about unpalatable economic realities and the need for civic discipline’.
The media have helped the government extensively in that task. One reason that explains why only about 12% of articles oppose austerity is that a large majority of writers come from elite institutions that favour austerity.
Excluding regular journalists, 29% of the authors of opinion articles in the press on austerity are mainstream economists, 28% are working in the financial or corporate sector, and 20% are political officials in the three main political parties, which have all supported austerity.
The media’s favourable view of fiscal consolidation can be assessed through the following sample of article titles published since 2008: ‘Commitment and Stamina are Required for Fiscal Consolidation’ (Irish Times), ‘New Budget will Prove Tough but Necessary’ (Sunday Independent), ‘Austerity Vital to Maintain our Economic Sovereignty’ (Irish Times), ‘We Need to Stop Living in Denial and Cut Costs Even Further’ (Sunday Independent), ‘We Must Suffer the Pain Now—Or Else we will Blight Future Generations’ (Sunday Independent), ‘Bill is Tough but Necessary’ (Irish Times), ‘Tough Budget Would Restore Confidence’ (Irish Times), ‘Supplementary Budget can Begin Urgent Task of Restoring Depleted Tax Revenues’ (Irish Times), ‘Budget May Cut Wages and Raise Taxes to Restore Competitiveness’ (Irish Times), ‘[Austerity] Budget Will Restore Confidence and Hasten Economic Recovery’ (Irish Times) and ‘Tough Budget Needed to Stave Off Grimmer Future’ (Irish Times).
Further to the Irish Times’s decision to not publish the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue
Some argue that the decision by most Irish newspapers not to reproduce the more provocative Charlie Hebdo cartoons is a betrayal of free expression….Charlie Hebdo certainly saw itself as defending free speech; but in a deliberately provocative manner. It has described itself as a “journal bête et méchant” [silly and rude newspaper]. Like Jyllands-Posten in Denmark, it countered the Muslim prohibition on images of the prophet by printing the most offensive images of Muhammad it could provide.
…Without question, nothing it did justified the slightest violence against Charlie Hebdo.
But does not publishing images of Muhammad really infringe the public’s right to information? Is this the real front line in the battle for media freedom? Surely there are more important challenges to be made than this one?
The rest of us generally try to show a bit of respect and decency and not do stuff that would needlessly draw on the crazies, just for the hell of it. And that sort of automatic self-censorship is what makes us civilized as human beings. It’s not just a matter of judgment; it’s a matter of common sense. Talking about some concept of ‘absolute and unfettered free speech’ is not only factually untrue, it also assumes the imposition of a whole range of cultural values on another people who happen to share the globe but who think differently.
Amidst the right and proper condemnation of the killings in Paris, surely it is possible that we can ask some questions, and give some context. Or is there also to be a censorship of any debate around this event, which would be a grim irony in itself. Surely, such a debate is worth having, and having urgently, given that Charlie Hebdo now plans to publish further such images and other publications have vowed to do the same, thereby surely creating further unrest – and possible killings.
“The Alliance Francaise cultural centre in Dublin said, based on their inquiries, there is no where in the State to purchase a copy of the magazine. A spokesman there said some members of staff were asking relatives in France to buy them a copy. He added that the centre would be taking out a subscription with the magazine so members will be able to read it in the library there, but they won’t be allowed take it home.”