Online broadcasting exempt from BAI election rules

The media-led argument about the leaders' debate – should it happen? Who should take part? – has spun off some interesting points about the broadcasting restrictions (and exemptions) on party political material. By Angela Long

We might all be watching filmed material on the internet every day, but the colour and movement there has not come within the beady eye of the regulator as regards political balance.

[Pictured: Labour leader Eamon Gilmore during last night's debate on TV3]

Murdoch's paperless newspaper finally debuts

The Daily, News Corp's iPad-only newspaper, was unveiled in the US today. By Angela Long

Billed as the world's first entirely digital newspaper, The Daily, an App, has been six months in preparation and cost Rupert Murdoch (pictured on left) around $30 million (€21.8 m). The product is edited by Jesse D'Angelo, formerly of The New York Post, and with an alleged raft of buy-in talent, some of them big names in US journalism.

Tragedy at the Tribune

The Sunday Tribune newspaper, which has struggled financially for several years, has been placed in receivership. Dublin receiver firm McStay Luby was appointed yesterday (February 1), the company announced.

The move was precipitated by Independent News & Media (INM), which owns 29.9 per cent of the Tribune - the upper limit imposed by a 1992 Ministerial Order intended to prevent INM from gaining full control of the newspaper.

Making sense of the noise

Mark Little, the RTE presenter who took a year's leave of absence to set up a new online news service, is not planning to return to the national broadcaster before the general election.

Mr Little guested on Marian Finucane's weekend programme in mid-January, detailing some of the big international stories of that week, such as Tony Blair's second appearance at the Chilcot (Iraq) inquiry. However he told Politico that this did not indicate he was preparing a re-entry to RTE, and he has also done similar slots on Newstalk.

Should News Corp be allowed to buy out Sky?

Controversy over the proposed buyout of Sky by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp continues. The British politician responsible for taking a decision on the matter, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, is agonising his way towards a decision. But all he really decides is whether to refer the bid to the Competition Commission, which could recommend refusal on the grounds that News Corp already has too much influence on public opinion in the UK. By Angela Long

RTE revels in 'gangland' parlance

The National Recovery Plan dominated RTE's Nine News on Wednesday evening with 22 minutes of coverage and analysis. The following news item reported the murder of two young cousins, Mark Noonan (23) and Glen Murphy (19), in Dublin the previous night.

RTE faces backlash over bailout conference coverage

Social networking site Twitter lit up with complaints last night over RTE's coverage of the press conference at Government Buildings where Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced that Ireland's application for financial aid had been approved by the EU. 

[Video: Vincent Browne questions Brian Cowen at Sunday's press conference]

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.

Sunday Tribune redesigned to target new readers

The Sunday Tribune will be published in full-colour tabloid henceforth. The compact design launched today aspires to attract new readers, particularly women and younger readers. The paper lost €5m in 2008 and is expected to have lost at least that sum in 2009, mainly because of flagging advertising revenue and declining sales.

Media miss the big point

The media extends itself chasing hares about sex crime and political corruption while it systematically neglects fundamental injustices. By Vincent Browne.

The focus on Ivor Callely, and on others accused of abusing public funds for their own gain, misses a big point.

The focus on the threat Larry Murphy, the released rapist, poses to society, misses another big point.

We in the media are good at missing big points; our livelihoods depend on it. For missed big points are often uncomfortable.