McCarthy report says hurry slowly

The reports on what to do about our parlous state are coming thick and fast. Economist Colm McCarthy's advice on sales of state assets was released today. This covers the ESB, CIE, the Dublin Airport Authority, An Post, RTE and a number of other organisations. McCarthy and his colleagues recommend 'a planned programme of asset sales' to make money for the beleaguered Exchequer, and say the haul could be up to €5 billion. But, they are not arguing for any hasty action. Here are some key recommendations:

Slovakia tries to wall off the news

Paywalls are creeping in . The New York Times has one, the Vatican newspaper is building one, and Slovakian media are huddling behind one, en masse. Don't worry. Politico has no wall looming. Angela Long reports

Slovakia’s attempt to put all its mainstream print media behind the same paywall is an interesting experiment. The Slovakians are ensuring a level playing field for their competing news organisations. This is being done by a common front paywall – so once you’re inside, you can choose which digital news platform to read.

Irish media prefers to ignore itself

Our media loves to probe, analyse and criticise all Irish institutions - except itself, writes Angela Long


There’s sport in plenty, crime in spades, politics (if you’re with the broadsheets) by the acre.

But one thing the reader finds sparse in the Irish media is reporting on the media itself.

Arguably, this is a big miss: doesn’t the media, new or old, influence our lives and thinking down to the most minute degree?

But self-analysis – or navel-gazing, as detractors might label it – is few and far between.

Press regulation sailing serenely

Ireland's press regulation system is quietly going about its business, like a submarine beneath the surface of the fractious media world, writes Angela Long


 There’s no great problems with press misbehaviour in our land, it would seem from the man who ‘polices’ it, the Press Ombudsman, John Horgan.

 Only two of 315 complaints he received last year were sufficiently intractable to go to the Press Council. Resolution of one kind or another settled most, while some complaints were found to have no substance.

Sky no limit for Murdoch

RUPERT MURDOCH is used to winning. Sometimes the battle is long and expensive, but the aged dictator of News Corp has the stomach and the funds. And so again, in Britain, his outfit appears to have won its campaign to own 100 per cent of BSkyB.

The rider is that Sky News must be set up as a separate company. It will be taken out from under the BSkyB, and therefore NewsCorp, umbrellas, and function as an 'independent' entity.

No Irish names, no pack drill

O Cuiv, Maloney, O Snodaigh, Deenihan, Halligan, O'Brien...

But no Serafinovicz, no Obayomi, no De Lesseps or Staglioni...

The Irish parliament is a very traditionally Irish place. The alleged multiculturalism that came with economic prosperity might never have happened. Ireland is a white, largely male, place, and everyone speaks with an Irish accent, be it Kerry, Donegal or Dublin.

That, at least, is the impression given by the Dáil after the election results flowed in.

It wasn't the papers wot won it

In a way, there was no choice in this election, not a lot for the media to exploit, in traditional fashion. Fine Gael was going to dominate the result, and this was clear from early on.

So the adversarial party battle which newspapers and other media exploit (whatever the regulations say) was missing from the coverage.

The best angles, for attention, that could be taken were about the phoney war between Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny, or perhaps some scare-mongering about the rise of the left and the Sinn Fein surge.

Question marks over the future of Sinn Fein

AFTER decades in the political wilderness, Sinn Féin seems to be on the verge of a political breakthrough in the Republic. If the polls are to be believed, it should win anything from 10 to 15 seats. By Peter Mooney.

Tribune demise confirmed

The final nail in the coffin of quality newspaper the Sunday Tribune was hammered yesterday afternoon. Staff received letters from the examiner, Jim Luby, informing them that no buyer had been found for the troubled title, and it would not publish again.



Social Entrepreneurs on the manifestos...

 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland was set up in 2007, having grown out of an initiative funded by The One Foundation. It aimed to harness 'maverick' solutions to commercial and social problems. The SEI website currently features a blog comparing major parties' manifestos with regard to social entrepreneurship. A shortened form of the article appears below, as does a link to the full text.