Courage and cowardice

 We should be mindful, I suppose, that Ireland is now populated by countless people who, by virtue of their national origins or age, would have responded to April's major media talking point with a quizzical “Nuala Who?” – or indeed “Marian Who?”

Now you see it..

Pity the poor John Kelly fans stranded in the fourth green field – some of the people who started the buzz about this extraordinary music broadcaster way back when he was spinning his stuff for the BBC in Northern Ireland.

The decline of journalism

The frenzy of reaction to the tragic death of Katy French brought radio listeners many entertaining faux pas.


I  must admit it. Although I didn't know her from Eve, Katy French's death really made me sad, deep down sad. I was sad especially for her loved-ones, who had to watch her tiny corpse carrying so much symbolic weight.


I must also admit: some of the coverage that closely followed her sad passing made me laugh in spite of it all.

Media's drug of choice

There is no danger of this columnist moving on to pastures new as PRO for the pharmaceutical sector, at any level from Big Pharma down to the local chemist. But the media's sudden autumn discovery of deepest sympathies for the poor oppressed heroin addicts of Dublin, victimised by a load of greedy pharmacists, did come as something of a shock. It was clearly symptomatic not of a rush of compassion but of the opportunity to put the boot into an unloved and not-especially-powerful occupational sub-group.

Women and children first

In much the same dopey wide-eyed manner that RTE reacted to Jim Beglin's belated criticism of Steve Staunton – “they were Liverpool team-mates!” voices cried in amazement but with only a modicum of truth, since Beglin was on his way out of Anfield with injury when Staunton developed as a young reserve – the national broadcaster reported recently that the US had admitted “killing 17 civilians” in Iraq, “all of them women and children”.

Stan the playmaker

Around here we're always complaining that journalists lack a historical perspective. Arguably, many political hacks, with their capacity to rattle off past election results and previous ministerial office-holders, are a partial exception to what we regard as the rule. Sports reporters, too, tend to share with sports fans a frightening store of history's trivia.