Our moral duty to lie to pollsters

Week three of the 2011 general election is now underway, and the agenda is still largely dominated by the state of Ireland's beleaguered economy. Econospeak has overtaken Irish as our second most popular language, and the front pages are still filled with stories of bailouts, banks, bondholders, budgets and Brussels. The other big issue of the election, political reform, occasionally gets a look in, but the broadsheets are dissecting daily the minutiae of our economic situation - and with good reason.

TDs rush to Twitter ahead of Election 2011

Twitter's popularity is booming among Irish politicians, some of whom feel it is changing the rules of traditional politics. But its impact on Election 2011 will be limited. By Joe Galvin.

Fianna Fáil TD Mary O'Rourke added her name to the evergrowing list of disgruntled government backbenchers on Monday last by calling on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to name a date for the general election. "Hey Brian," said O'Rourke, "will you please name the date? We are tired waiting."

Serial 'churnalism' at Irish Times and Irish Independent

A study carried out in Dublin City University shows that the Irish print media depends heavily on public relations material for its daily news content. By Joe Galvin

The study, carried out by postgraduate students in 2010, found that between 11.6% and 21% of newspaper stories across eight major daily publications were mainly or entirely generated by public relations material, and that between 32% and 50% of all stories contained elements of public relations material.

Fine Gael's hypocrisy is Labour's gain

Fine Gael's sudden implosion could be Labour's, not Fianna Fáil's, gain.  By Joe Galvin.

In politics, timing is everything, and in the past year, Fine Gael's timing has consistently been out. Sometimes the party have acted too slowly; their failure to move quickly to condemn John O'Donoghue is an example. In that instance, they were gazumped by Eamonn Gilmore. Last weekend they were gazumped by their own spokesperson on finance, Richard Bruton.

Texts and emails, Wednesday 12 May

Topic: The EU's proposal to increase co-ordination of national budgets

Panellists: Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael), Joan Burton (Labour) and Will Hutton (EU expert and ex-editor of the Observer)

Was this budget proposal in the 700 page Lisbon Treaty that we voted on? Or did anyone bother to read it? 



Discussion outlines the 'corrosive' effect of social media

A prominent media expert warned yesterday of the dangers for media organisations in using social networking sites which have the potential to be "corrosive" to media authority. By Joe Galvin.

Richard Delevan, a journalist and managing director of McConnells Integrated, said there was a "cultural conflict between old and new media". He stated there was a lack of understanding among traditional media as to how to fully exploit social networking sites.

A new political agenda for Ireland

At a conference in University College Dublin (UCD), leading academics and community workers called for a "new agenda" to be created to give the Irish electorate a real political alternative, while Labour's Michael D. Higgins signalled his support for a true left alternative. By Joe Galvin.

The conference, entitled Equality in a Time of Crisis, was organised by UCD's Egalitarian World Initiative and looked at how Ireland could create a "socially just society". It took place in UCD's Quinn School of Business building.

Crackdown on illegal internet use spreads to Europe

Added to the recent passage of anti-piracy legislation in the UK and France, a new EU proposal signals a continent wide crackdown on illicit internet use. By Joe Galvin.

Last Monday, EU ministers put forward proposals to set up a European cybercrime unit as part of a long term strategy to tackle the problems of fraud, illegal downloading and child pornography. The aim is to develop a harmonious, EU wide legal system to deal with illegal internet use.

(Pictured: Council of Europe building)