Writer says journalism underpins democracy

Support for journalism a ’civic act’

Emily O’Reilly launched Pat Leahy’s new book on the Fine Gael-Labour Coalition ‘The Price of Power’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Emily O’Reilly launched Pat Leahy’s new book on the Fine Gael-Labour Coalition ‘The Price of Power’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Wed, Sep 11, 2013, 01:00


Support for journalism through the purchase of newspapers, books and magazines should be seen as “civic act” which underpins the democratic process, a senior journalist has said.

Pat Leahy, deputy editor of the Sunday Business Post, was speaking last evening in Dublin at the publication of his new book on the Fine Gael-
Labour Coalition, The Price of Power.

The book was launched by Ombudsman and former journalist Emily O’Reilly, who is the incoming European ombudsman.

“It’s getting harder for authors and for journalists to do these sort of books, indeed to do journalism at all. There’s more and more pressure on journalists in their daily lives because of market pressure and so forth,” Leahy said.

The Sunday Business Post was acquired by new owners recently after a period in examinership, a process Leahy described as a near-death experience which he would not wish of any of his colleagues.

“It still strikes me as worthy of saying that it is kind of preposterous to my mind that you can buy a coffee for €3 and people think that’s good value and you can buy a newspaper for €3 and people think that that’s too expensive,” he said.

“I think we should come to see that the purchase of newspapers and books and magazines and the support of journalism as a sort of a civic act.”