No news is good news


It's the newspaper that's not a newspaper. Printed in tabloid form, it looks like one, but a peek inside shows that SAOL Ireland's Irish-language free newspaper is free of serious, hard news. Its 20 pages are filled with photographs, interviews and feature articles.

The difference between nuachtain, or newspapers, such as Foinse or La and SAOL is that the latter is, as a banner on its cover reads, "nuachtiris mhiosuil phobal na Gaeilge", which translates into "the monthly news magazine for the Irish community".

According to editor, Colm O Torna, SAOL is reflective of the social and cultural life of the Irish-speaking community. This community extends beyond county or country borders and so 15,000 copies of SAOL are distributed throughout the island of Ireland and beyond, with half of the copies distributed in Dublin.

Although he travels the country covering stories and taking photos for SAOL, O Torna insists it is not a one-man show; people come to him with stories too.

Funding of this minority publication is different to that of other free publications. Although it has some advertising, SAOL is mainly funded by Foras na Gaeilge. It could not exist without this funding, says O Torna. He likens it to the funding of the arts: - "It's a minority thing."