P7, P8 & M4: Ethics & Censorship


Not Ethical

Journalism and Society

P8 & M4: Gatekeeping and News Selection

Definition 1: Gatekeeping is the act of filtering information to the public. An editor will decide what information is released and can structure or edit stories to shape their context. Deciding on a timeframe to release certain information can have a different effect on how the information is digested.

Definition 2: Gatekeeping is the withholding of information for future benefit.

Newsfeed for 18-25 age group

I chose these stories because they have a good balance between pop culture and at home news. The hotel story is relevant because the age group majorly employed by the hospitality industry is the 18-25 group. The summer article is reminiscent of a buzzfeed article which that group is used to and respond well to. The rest are global pop culture related articles that that age group would be familiar with and interested in.

Photo by Angga Ranggana Putra on Unsplash

Journalism and Society Uncategorized

M2: The Right to Privacy & Freedom of the Press.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks

United Nations, 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 12

The right of a person to be free from intrusion into or publicity concerning matters of a personal nature.

Mirriam Webster

A person has the right to their privacy without being coerced by government bodies or otherwise. Families, home and personal matters that are outside of public interest are sacred and should not be intruded upon.

“The freedom to publish is vital to the right of the people to be informed. This freedom includes the right of the press to publish what it considers to be news, without fear or favour, and the right to comment upon it.”

Press Council of Ireland

The freedom to publish is vital to the right of the people to be informed. This freedom includes the right of the press to publish what it considers to be news, without fear or favour, and the right to comment upon it.

The press must be allowed to lawfully publish matters that are within the public interest without fear of reprimand from the government or outside bodies. Freedom of the press comes with responsibilities and carries a lot of ethical quandaries.



Breach of privacy: The use of CCTV inside the sauna/steam room area’s is a breach of privacy for the members of the gym. Also showing the footage to a member of the public and it not being them on the video was an extreme breach of privacy.

Freedom of press justification: This breach of privacy is within the public interest. Members of Westwood Gym are entitled to know if their privacy has been breached. It also sets a precedent for other gym’s and gym owners, showing them that this is not acceptable and now that this situation has been brought to light there is less of a chance of getting away with it.

Who was right? The gym member in this case was right. Although cameras are allowed in some sections of a gym for safety reasons, there are sections where a camera would be a blatant invasion of privacy and unethical.


Breach of privacy: The manner in which the nightclub collected the phone numbers for their marketing was flawed in a number of ways. Having people write their number on a clipboard while intoxicated is reckless, passing it around to other patrons of the club also means their data is insecure and is exposed to a large number of people.

Freedom of press justification: This is also within the public interest as it is a huge data breach. Assuming the patrons of this particular club were inebriated at any level while being coaxed into handing over private information, means they may not even remember doing so and also means that they have no idea who within that club has had access to their details.

Who was right? The patron was right in this case. The venues method of collecting information was dangerous and outdated. They need to develop a more secure method to collect and store the data of its customers and also install an unsubscribing service.

Journalism and Society

P3, P4 & M2: Checks & Balances

Mr David O’Brien and the Sunday World

Mr David O’Brien,a former member of An Garda Síochána, made a complaint to the press ombudsman regarding a publication in the Sunday World.
On 20 September 2020 the Sunday World published a report on the marriage of Mr David O’Brien, to a member of a family under investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau. The report stated that Mr O’Brien had been found guilty of lying to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) during an investigation.
The editor of the Sunday World responded to the office of the press ombudsman admitting fault and stating that they would be happy to publish the following clarification on page 4 “being the same page as the original article”.

In an article published on Sunday, 20 September we stated that Mr David O’Brien had been found guilty of lying to GSOC during an investigation. We are happy to clarify that Mr O’Brien successfully appealed this conviction and we acknowledge that he does not have any criminal conviction.

Mr O’Brien rejected this offer and appealed to the ombudsman citing the while the full story had been published on page 4, the story had been the front page headline and should be clarified on that page. The Appeal was rejected. In the future, the journalist needs to make sure that all of their information can be verified instead of running it sensationally.

A Woman, her Son and the Sunday World

A complaint was made to the press ombudsman about the breach of  Principle 5 (Privacy) and Principle 9 (Children) of the Code of Practice of the Press Council of Ireland. The woman stated that The Sunday World published an article that she and her teenage son had been visiting her husband who was in prison. Several photographs of her with a teenage boy whose face was pixilated accompanied the report. These showed her and the boy outside the prison.
Solicitors whose client was the man in prison stated  “two members of the public, who have neither committed any crime nor been convicted of any offence, are attending at a prison to visit a family member” was not newsworthy and was a breach of their clients’ privacy. They further claimed that Principle 9 (Children) had been breached as irrespective of the blurring of the face of the son he was easily identifiable in the photographs published in the Sunday World to “those known to him in the locality”.

The Sunday World made an appeal to the press ombudsman stating that they had taken the necessary steps to conceal the boys identity which they accepted. However their statement that the breach of privacy was justified as it was within the public interest was not upheld. In the future the journalist must be very careful in publishing anything that involves children, and be sure that what they are publishing is within the public interest and not just sensationalist.

Mr Raymond Sweeney

Mr Raymond Sweeney who is the National Coordinator of Pagan Federation Ireland, wrote to the editor of The Irish Times stating that the article breached Principle 8 (Prejudice) of the Code of Practice. He claimed that the statements made in the article were “patently false, misleading and prejudicial against Paganism”. Mr Sweeney sought a full retraction and an apology.

In the opinion of Mr. Sweeney, Principle 2 (Distinguishing Fact and Comment), Principle 4 (Respect for Rights) and Principle 8 (Prejudice) of the Code of Practice of the Press Council of Ireland had all been breached. However, according to the press council, ‘the editor of The Irish Times made a submission to the Office of the Press Ombudsman stating that the article had been clearly marked “Opinion” and there had been no failure to distinguish between fact and comment as required under Principle 2. In regard to Principle 4 the editor argued that the article expressed the opinion that some of the hallmarks of paganism include nature worship, ritual sacrifices and doomsday prophecies.    He said that Pagan Federation Ireland said that it did not provide a “doctrinally definitive Pagan creed” so that even within the membership of Pagan Federation Ireland there can be differing views.    In regard to Principle 8 the editor said a writer was entitled to be critical of an organisation without being accused of prejudice against it’

The press ombudsman agreed that no codes had been broken and accepted The Irish Times’ offer to publish a letter of comment from the pagan federation of Ireland with to limit on length or content. The pagan federation did not accept this and appealed the decision to the press council who further investigated and concluded that the ombudsman’s decision still stands. In the future the journalist needs to be more sensitive and informed before making such offensive comments about a religious group.

Journalism and Society

P1, P2 & M1: News Ownership and Media Imperialism.

Media imperialism is the over saturation of media from a specific area on another. The mass media homogenization of a country typically takes place in smaller nations and can result in the partial loss of that nation’s identity.

An example of media imperialism that I have witnessed in my own life would be that of the “Shore” franchises. Jersey Shore landed on our TV screens in 2009 and kicked off the shore and shore type shows, all working under the premise of young adults sharing a massive house, hooking up, getting drunk and fighting. It is worth mentioning that all of the participants follow a very similar aesthetic.

Jersey shore’s first real follow up from abroad came in the form of Britain’s “Geordie Shore”, same exact premise. Then came “The Valleys”, another MTV vérité this time from Wales. And then inevitably, Ireland’s answer to the shores, “Tallafornia” hit our screens. These shows have had a ripple effect on culture and society, influencing the identities and styles of the majority of teens and twenty-something year old’s and beyond.


Photo by quan le on Unsplash

Journalism and Society

P3 & P4: News Case Study

Same news story, very different comment sections.

Socioeconomic differences can be very quickly picked up by looking at the comment sections on different media platforms. I will be demonstrating this by taking a news story that has been published across multiple platforms, categorizing them and looking at examples of interaction with the audience by displaying comments. The story I have chosen is the following:

Group A and Group B: Twitter comments on RTE’s post.

The comments section on twitter is usually comprised of users that are informed on the subject. Facts are stated and if they are incorrect other users will chime in to correct them in an informal manner. Arguments on twitter are more like debates and rarely get out of hand. This comment section can also be educational to read, but of course everything should be verified secondarily by the reader.

Group C1, C2 and D: comments section.

The comment section of the journal is a renowned spectacle. The users of this comment section often use it to spout uninformed opinions that can be harmful and discriminatory.

Group E: Facebook comments on RTE’s post.

This short clipping of a Facebook comment is indicative of most facebook comment sections. Facebook comment sections, much like the comment section of the journal, is a place for people to spread misinformation and attack others.

Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

Investigative Journalism

P8 & M4: Assess and analyse feedback.

Formative feedback

  • Enjoyable because it sounded personal, like I was really interested in it.
  • Positive elements surprising.
  • Recommended to do a podcast, very pleasant listening to me talk about this topic.
  • Large numbers: Sometimes we don’t need to use large numbers to make an effect, the truth is always the most effective.
  • Need to go more into detail on the primary research examples of defamation.
  • No real risk about political bias in this case.

Summative feedback

  • Well written and presented.
  • Brave for a student to tackle this subject matter this heavy.
  • Make it light and readable, seems like I have but keep in mind.
  • Use layman’s terms when using technical language. “simple writing.”
  • Excellent awareness of weaknesses in writing during the editing process.
  • Get a broad range of opinions.
  • Mention the defamation, you may be being over cautious.
  • Where possible, push it, without defamation.
  • Balance is so valuable to the reader.

What would I do differently?

I would plan out the sequence in which I hold interviews to optimise the information I gain for the article. I would also open up the amount of people in a similar profession that I would interview to gain a broader insight and provide fair balance for the reader.

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Investigative Journalism

P5: Primary

Unfortunately with the SVP interview, it did not make the deadline for the first draft.

I actually contacted the constituency office of Louise O’Reilly, here is a screenshot of a follow up email with a link to a zoom meeting where the interview took place.

Photo by Stephen Phillips – on Unsplash

Investigative Journalism

P5: Secondary to Primary

Below is a screenshot of my contact sheet. I reached out to each of these individuals/companies requesting an interview at any convenience to them and followed up regularly. I created a question sheet to go with each interview and have also posted them below.

Louise O’Reilly – TD Fingal | SF

  • Are there any plans in the future to make working from home a permanent feature in our workforce?
  • We’ve just seen the ‘to-let’ signs go down and be replaced with SME’s in the form of beauty studios, boutiques and coffee shops. Are they at risk?
  • Is there any chance of maybe a rent relief on premises? We already have the ban on evictions residentially, it seems a bit unfair that these small businesses will eventually be turfed out. 
  • Alternatively, is it looking like the economies in small towns like donaghbate, rush lusk and skerries are actually thriving from residents working from home and getting their latte’s from the local coffee shops and shopping in local butchers and grocers instead of doing the big drive to swords and that?
  • What about the pubs? They feel entirely abandoned by the government, is there much hope for local hospitality at this point? 
  • Any advice for supporting local business’s? 
  • Bright future for working from home? Is it sustainable?

Cafe Verde 

  • The success story of rush! Congratulations on your success, how was it opening up a small business on the knifes edge of the pandemic?
  • What were the biggest challenges you faced upon opening and in fact throughout the ever changing lockdown restrictions? 
  • With the WFH orders, there is a massive reduction of footfall in premises in the city centre, do you feel the footfall of the WFH workforce in your shop? 
  • Any fears for the future in regards to covid?

Rose McGowan – SVP

  • How is the SVP coping during the pandemic,  I would imagine keeping the shops running is difficult- has it effected the money raised through the second hand shops?
  • Is it dangerous for you to take in donations at this time?
  • Have you seen a change the number of calls coming in looking for aid? 
  • How important are the visitation conferences and is the society managing to carry out its work in line with the restrictions?

Eddie Hobbs 

  • Eoin burke Kennedy of the Irish times said back in September “Ireland in recession as economy contracts by more than 6%” So, do you agree with that? Are we in a recession? 
  • What do you think is the biggest difference between this recession and the last?
  • I’m from a small town in north county Dublin and the focal point of all our community posts online in relation to getting through this pandemic seems to be “Shop local, shop Irish”, Is there much hope for local small business realistically or are we going to have to brace ourselves for the sea of “to let” signs again?
  • Is it possible that this recession may last as long as the last or perhaps even longer?
  • What have we learned from the last recession that may help us wether the storm from this economic shock.

Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash

Investigative Journalism

Case study: Athleisure Barre and Kale.

“Athleisure Barre and Kale: The tyranny of the ideal woman” Is a lengthy opinion piece written by Jia Tolentino that The Guardian ran in August 2019. The piece is an in depth investigation into the practices undertaken by modern women to achieve the ultimate female vision.

Tolentino pulls us into the story instantly by prompting the readers to use their imagination to picture the subject matter, in this case the basic white woman of the instagram era. Her analysis takes a subjective approach to personal growth practices within this group of women when Tolentino shares her experiences with this lifestyle.

Photo by David Hofmann on Unsplash

Story Ideas

Online Addiction

  • Social queues
  • How it affects mental health
  • Productivity issues
  • Overstimulation
  • Impatience
  • Posture

Youth at home

  • Adult child symptoms
  • How it happened
  • Knock-on effects
  • Effect on parents
  • Can it be solved?
  • Statistics

True crime obsession

  • Dangers?
  • Where did it come from
  • Desensitization
  • Emergence of gore sites
  • Family’s of true crime

Covid culture

  • Benefits
  • Problems
  • Unsung heroes
  • Abandoned people and businesses
  • Imminent recession