All our previous MediaShots are archived here. We hope that these will form a basis for other media critics to employ their own time and energy in bringing the corporate media to account. Feel free to distribute these Shots...
Blessed with nothing but good intentions
(added Friday February 22, 2013)
Finally, the long heralded debt deal has arrived, and with no small fanfare.
The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives
(added Wednesday April 25, 2012)
Discussing the highly concentrated ownership of Irish media on the eve of Gavin O’Reilly’s departure from Independent News & Media, Vincent Browne makes a statement his former editor Geraldine Kennedy would be proud of. Yet gone are the days when the Irish Times could credibly boast to be ‘leaders’ or ‘shapers’ of public opinion, save for a small subset of influential south Dubliners.
'Officials say', 'officials say', 'according to an official'
(added Tuesday July 27, 2010)
Our last MediaShot 'The false reality of news journalism’ – Reporting Palestine and the Mavi Marmara analysed reporting of the Israeli attack on the international aid flotilla destined for Gaza. The analysis focused on the broadsheet newspapers, the Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Examiner, where we found a clear bias in favour of Israeli government sources.
'The false reality of news journalism'
(added Friday July 2, 2010)
One of the most interesting features of mainstream reporting on Israel and Palestine is the disparity between the way violent attacks by each side are presented. Israel's actions are chiefly explained in terms of it's right to "self defence", while those carried out by Palestinians are more often than not portrayed as attempts to undermine Israel's "security."
Our new kick-ass financial regulator
(added Tuesday April 27, 2010)
The arrival of Matthew Elderfield a.k.a. The Financial Regulator a.k.a. The Regulator a.k.a. The Sheriff of Dodge City has been universally heralded by the media and political establishment as the second coming of Christ. Well, the Christ of ledgers, calculators and informal speeches at the Financial Services Ireland Conference anyway.
Favouring the Rich - A Media Prerogative?
(added Wednesday December 16, 2009)
“[The ruling class has constructed] two parallel universes, one in which there seems to be an endless amount of money that can be put into the banking system and another where we have to attack the blind, the disabled, children and the unemployed. It’s remarkable how successful this crude strategy of distracting and dividing people has been.”
Iran vs Honduras - A subtle difference
(added Monday August 10, 2009)
The furore over Mahmoud Ahmajinedad's apparent success in last months Iranian presidential elections tells us a few important things about how the dominant media feels democratic deficiencies, alleged or otherwise, should be reported.
Don't Shoot the Messenger - Part 2
(added Thursday May 28, 2009)
Over the last year or so we have been in contact with a number of journalists from Ireland's broadsheets, seeking their views on the media / property relationship. We asked why the issue has been ignored and suggested that the topic deserved open discussion - that perhaps it pointed towards a deeper issue of compromise between funding and journalism. Surprisingly, and without exception, journalists agreed that this was indeed an unhealthy relationship.
Don't Shoot the Messenger - Part 1
(added Thursday May 28, 2009)
According to Vincent Browne the establishment of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) represents "potentially the single largest transfer of wealth ever to take place at once." The agency, established to "oversee the transfer of the dodgy loans held by the banks, loans amounting to €90 billion," will take on billions of Euro in debt owed by developers. With the taxpayer essentially becoming liable for the commercial risk now realised in the ghost estates mercilessly documented by Eamonn Crudden in his short film 'Wallets Full of Blood: Houses On The Moon'.
The Climate Change 'Debate' - Part 2
(added Tuesday December 9, 2008)
In Part 1 of this MediaShot we discussed how the media can often skew debate in their search for a balancing argument or 'the other side of the story', specifically in the case of climate change. Ken O'Shea, RTE Editor of Current Affairs defended RTE's decision to challenge the scientific consensus on the basis that 'dissenting voices…feed and inform the debate', allowing 'people to make up their own minds'.
The Climate Change 'Debate' - Part 1
(added Tuesday December 9, 2008)
"This debate will go on and on. It's been an interesting discussion and hopefully we'll come back to it again."
Miriam O'Callaghan concluding a recent Prime Time segment 'Questions raised over global warming', making the surprising claim that there exists a 'debate' over the science of climate change.
The Media and the Banking Bailout
(added Thursday October 2, 2008)
Towards the end of Tuesday night's edition of TV3 current affairs programme 'Nightly News with Vincent Browne' the host asked one of his guests, almost rhetorically, whether the media have some responsibility for the artificial inflation of property prices in their promotion of the market through property supplements and advertising. His guest agreed that to some extent the media did play a part in that hyping.
Distorting Democracy - The Media and Venezuela
(added Thursday January 10, 2008)
Like much of the Western media, the Irish mainstream professes profound concern for Venezuela's current political and economic direction. This interest generates masses of column inches, covering everything from protests and elections to the most insignificant of events there – such as a planned daylight savings time change.
An instruction from civilisation to barbarism
(added Thursday October 4, 2007)
In the days leading up to and following President Ahmadinejad’s address at Columbia University during his recent trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, mainstream western media largely lost the run of itself in its eagerness to ensure that nothing he said could be interpreted other than through the prism of his being ‘a petty and cruel dictator’.
Tipping the balance west
(added Thursday September 20, 2007)
In 2003 a group of researchers at Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies conducted a study of the UK media’s reporting of the Iraq war [Shoot First and Ask Questions Later]. They found that the mainstream media, and in particular the highly regarded BBC, had been ‘too sympathetic’ to the government line.
The Enemy Without – Palestine and Democracy
(added Thursday June 21, 2007)
Following democratic elections of varying degrees of freeness and fairness across the Middle East in 2005 President Bush uttered these less than immortal words. He explained that “the advance of democracy leads to peace because governments that respect the rights of their people also respect the rights of their neighbours."
From Rhetoric to Reality
(added Sunday April 15, 2007)
The mainstream corporate media is without doubt the dominant source of information on current ‘newsworthy’ events. These corporate entities reach into almost every corner of every living room; they leave their impression on every coffee table and commuter carriage floor. But while they effectively shape our vision of the world, our influence on them remains marginal. We 'control' them through exercising ‘consumer choice’.
The authorities on criminality - The West vs Iran
(added Thursday March 15, 2007)
As readers of the Irish Times we enter into a ‘contract’ each day. For their part they provide "the best journalism in Ireland: reports that are honest, accurate and comprehensive; and analysis that is informed, fair and based on the facts." [The Irish Times - Message from the Editor, Geraldine Kennedy]  And for our part we offer ourselves as potential customers to it's advertising partners.
Gas, Gaeilge and the Media
(added Tuesday January 23, 2007)
Ireland's most influential news organisations are all to a large degree dependent on advertising as their principle form of revenue. And those revenues accrued are for the most part supplied by large corporations. In fact many of these news organisations are open about this dependency, RTE [Radio Telefis Eireann] state one of their guiding principles as; "[to] constantly re-evaluate our services in order to ensure that they reflect the needs of our audiences and customers in terms of content and platforms." It can reasonably be assumed that certain problems are bound to arise when the needs of RTE's audience conflict with the needs of its customers.
A crime within a crime within a crime
(added Tuesday January 9, 2007)
In 2003 the US led invasion of Iraq underlined in no uncertain terms the limited reach of international law. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated, “[the invasion of Iraq] was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal." That invasion and all the subsequent crimes within have amassed over 650,000 bodies, with one recent addition, the former leader of that country.