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Newspapers struggle to contextualise attacks

Like many of the more reasoned broadsheets, the Irish Examiner has struggled to come to terms with the horrific attacks in Paris. 

In an attempt to contextualise this outrage, it has offered a platform for comment and analysis from opposing ideological camps.

Yet one has to ask if this platform is being used wisely to inform and stimulate a reasoned public debate, or has it been misused by commentators who sought to reinforce rigid orthodoxies by issuing polemical manifestos.

For example, can the recent articles by Gerard Howlin and Victoria White be regarded as objective, or even designed to inform a readership looking to understand the tragedy?

I would suggest not, in fact if one looks at the letters page of January 19, it seems their respective commentaries have inflamed and reinforced already entrenched positions of a readership that seems incapable of seeing a middle ground.

If this present manifestation of a centuries old religious dichotomy is ever going to be truly understood, then surely there is an obligation on the individuals shaping the debate to offer incisive analysis, rather than inflame an already fearful society?

Dr Kevin McCarthy

Sean Hale Terrace,

Kinsale

Co Cork

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