ARTS COVERAGE

 

Sir, In his obituary of journalist Bill Graham (May 13th), your correspondent, Joe Jackson, wrote "The last time we spoke he was really worried about the rapidly deteriorating quality of arts coverage in Irish Sunday papers' and intent on responding, specifically, to the Sunday Times attack on Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries. This he did, in what now turns out to have been his last completed article."

Bill Graham's article about The Cranberries, published in Hot Press, dealt with several recent articles hostile to The Cranberries. It did not criticise the Sunday Times piece on the band, or suggest that it was evidence of rapidly deteriorating quality of arts coverage in Irish Sunday papers. On the contrary, it quoted extensively from the article, which I wrote, and with characteristic generosity Bill observed that the article had "broken the logjam" of rumours surrounding the band, noting that it was particularly damaging to The Cranberries as it was "cold news, not vitriolic comment".

Bill Graham was an outstanding music writer and a valued acquaintance, therefore the comments attributed to him by Joe Jackson are personally distressing. However, they cannot, I submit, be reconciled with the position taken by Bill Graham in print, a medium in which he never found difficulty communicating precisely what he thought. Yours, etc., The Sunday Times, Huguenot House, St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2.