The future of journalism: the conversation

Opinion: Part 6 in series: ‘Irish Times’ readers’ online comments

Read all about it: what the future holds for  journalism. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Read all about it: what the future holds for journalism. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 01:00

Part 1: You are in the digital zone By Hugh Linehan, Irish Times digital development editor. Original article and comment are at

Shane O Leary

Great read, and it’s great to see a legacy Irish media org finally waking up to the opportunity/necessity. However, I would say that the line re: ‘now to survive...’ is slightly scary. Surely any smart business, no matter what industry it’s in, should have been ‘experimenting, innovating and moving quickly’ for the last few years and working on its digital offering? It seems that some in the media biz are all too happy to wait and see rather than grab the bull by the horns?

Hop Lite

Highlight in the print paper and online some of the better comments in the previous day. Bring us in out of the cold (though I suspect I will rarely feature – such is my wont for lost causes!).

Conor Doyle

In the US every $7 loss in print is only being replaced by $1 in digital revenue. The value of quality, first hand content is not being levered by the Irish media. It’s not helped by the industry itself and its ‘thinking’.


This is both a timely and an important article. Some fine observations and suggestions among the comments as well. It cannot have been easy to write about the declining newspaper business which has already faced severe cuts and job losses in recent years. […]

Digital change can be abrupt – just look at the success of Netflix and indeed of online giants like Amazon and the accompanying decline of the traditional DVD market and retail model. Something which may help some newspapers survive [...] is the demand for a quality product, customer loyalty and habit.

Ted Hagan

People are still reading newspapers, but increasingly online. Papers like the Guardian and the Mail in the UK have seen the future and seem well-prepared, with their sights set on a more international market. There is still great journalism about. Hopefully advertising will follow. Whether smaller players like The Irish Times will survive the maelstrom is in the lap of the gods. I dearly hope so.

Part 2: Distinctive voices push boundaries By Davin O’Dwyer, Irish Times journalist. Original article and comment are at

Paul Hunt

“This brings fresh challenges for news organisations geared towards covering the news on an iterative day-by-day schedule.” I’m not sure that the mainstream media has any understanding of what news is any more. In the more traditional sense, news is the reporting of unexpected events that have impacts on people in their localities or much wider; and news is the reporting of expected events that have public ramifications and may lead to other expected or unexpected events. It even seems to extend to coverage of the often self-promoting antics of ‘celebrities’. […]

Yet this seems to be one of the main activities that most Irish ‘journalists’ perform independently of the main news gathering agencies. This is simply the dissemination of propaganda. The real news is what the wealthy, powerful and influential are determined to hide from the public behind this propaganda smoke-screen. Irish ‘journalists’ have no incentive – and every incentive not – to dig this out in the public interest. That’s why the mainstream media in Ireland and elsewhere are facing an existential threat.

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