Media faces a 're-do moment' says UCC conference

Sisters Maeve and Rachel Power at the UCC journalism conference sponsored by the River Lee Hotel and the 'Irish Examiner' at UCC. Pic: Dan Linehan

Traditional media firms are facing a "re-do" moment, the executive editor of the Irish Examiner told a journalism conference at UCC over the weekend.

Dolan O’Hagan went on to suggest the healthiest future for the print industry and quality journalism in general lay "betwixt the digital naysayer and the digital dogmatist".

“The time has come to truly transform what we do rather than tinker around the edges with a variety of bolt-on interim digital initiatives.”

He said the simple truth is that quality journalism and the time required to create it comes at a great cost to local and national media firms — no matter their history and heritage.

The press ombudsman, Professor John Horgan, said the editing function is going to become more rather than less important in the coming years.

“We simply don’t have time to consume all that is out there. Newspapers give us some kind of idea of what they think is significant and why.

“Somebody did a survey recently and they discovered that 92% of blogs are read by only one person — the person who wrote them. We should not be surprised by this.”

Irish Examiner columnist Alison O’Connor, speaking on ‘Does Journalism Need Feminism’ noted it was the prospect of a future for her daughters and the changes motherhood brought that lit the fire of feminism for her.

The panel — chaired by Pádraig Rice, president of UCC’s Societies Guild — also included broadcast journalist Caroline Erskine, Irish Independent columnist Colette Browne, and Esther McCarthy from the Irish Examiner.

Ms McCarthy, who spoke about the under- representation of females in broadsheet newspapers, queried why ‘pink’ topics such as health and family were considered soft or less valuable than typically male-dominated subjects such as economics.


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