Journalism & Society

Research for L01 Journalism and Society

L01: Discuss the professional social and practical contexts of journalism, through historical and contemporary precedents
P1: Discuss the development of journalism through historical and contemporary precedents

Research topic 1: Discuss the development of online video journalism. When did online journalism first come about? Find specific examples of the first players in the game. Discuss them.​

timeline from this website:

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign - Wikipedia

University of Florida - Wikipedia

In September 1993, The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released a web browser called Mosaic. In October of the same year the University of Florida launches the first journalism site on the Internet. By November of 1994 the UK newspaper The Telegraph has launched the first newspaper website.

They were soon followed by the launch of BBC Online and The Guardian unlimited. By 2001 it has 2.4 million unique users, making it the most popular newspaper site in the UK.

Currently the most read online newspapers in the World are:

Mail OnlineNew York Times and The Guardian.

In just one decade online journalism has become central to peoples’ lives and as a result, some people have abandoned print news altogether.

The destruction of the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001 caused a huge demand for instant news. Some sites such as, see demand reaching 600 service requests per second. The editor of says that online journalism entered a new era when the Twin Towers were attacked.

Remembering 9/11, in 53 photos | National News |

What impact did it have on traditional providers?​ Did they change?

My own opinion: Online journalism provides instant news as it is happening , amateur citizen journalism also plays a part as the man in the street can now upload content and images in real time. It is immediate, can be amended or correctly quickly. However, there are downsides as in the pursuit of speed accuracy may be forfeit and editorial control lost.

Fewer barriers to entry, lowered distribution costs, and diverse computer networking technologies have led to the widespread practice of digital journalism.[3] It has democratized the flow of information that was previously controlled by traditional media including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.[4]

Impact on readers (comments section)

People can comment on articles and start discussion boards to discuss articles. People add to the story and connect with other people who want to discuss the topic. can provide a variety of media, such as audiovideo, provide quick, efficient, and accurate reporting of breaking news. The speed can affect the accuracy of the reporting, Credibility of sources.

Newspapers rarely break news stories any more, with most websites reporting on breaking news. Newspapers lose a lot of ground to their online counterparts, with ad revenue shifting to the Internet, and subscription to the printed paper decreasing.

the Internet has created a faster, cheaper way for people to get news out, thus creating the shift in ad sales from standard newspapers to the Internet.

Implications on traditional Journalism

There is competition growing between the two. Citizen journalism allows anyone to post anything, and because of that, journalists are being forced by their employers to publish more news content than before, which often means rushing news stories and failing to verify the source of information.



 Blogs can be seen as a new genre of journalism Blogs allow comments where some news outlets do not. By allowing comments, the reader can interact with a story instead of just absorbing the words on the screen. However, many blogs are highly opinionated and have a bias. Some are not verified to be true.

Citizen journalism

faster research, easier editing, conveniences, and a faster delivery time for articles. This allows anyone who wants to share something they deem important that has happened in their community. freedom of the press is limited. Anyone can record events happening and send it anywhere they wish, or put it on their website.

Who are the main providers of online journalism?​ Why are they top of the pile?​

Currently the most read online newspapers in the World are: Mail OnlineNew York Times and The Guardian.

644 million people worldwide accessed online newspaper sites in October 2012, making up 42.6% of the total internet population. Mail Online was the most popular online newspaper, attracting more than 50 million unique visitors during the month.

The New York Times ranked as a close second with nearly 48.7 million unique visitors worldwide. The Guardian comes in third place with an audience of 38.9 million, followed by Tribune Newspapers with 35.9 million unique visitors in October 2012.

Most Read Online Newspapers in the World Mail Online New York Times and The Guardian

MailOnline. right wing of mainstream British politics and typically supporting the UK Conservative Party.[20]  its entertainment news, often featuring celebrities such as Kim Kardashian or members of the British Royal Family such as the Duchess of Cambridge.[22] It is estimated that 25% of the traffic received by the website is purely to access the entertainment and gossip stories.[23turned into something more closely resembling a glossy magazine, with Hollywood news and Celebrity gossip served up on the sidebar on the right of the homepage. It’s like getting Heat, OK!, CNN and X-Factor all in one place.]

With people becoming more time poor, the Mail’s content style is designed for a much wider audience than that of papers dedicating themselves to more serious news. The all-in-one nature of the site is potentially why it has continued to grow its numbers while others are showing decline.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2.png

The Guardian is seen as trusted and prestigious. Good investigative reporting. More women readers . No billionaire owner, provide truth-seeking journalism that’s free from commercial and political influence. When it’s never mattered more, we can investigate and challenge without fear or favour.

In the last year alone, we offered readers a comprehensive, international perspective on critical events – from the Black Lives Matter protests, to the US presidential election, Brexit, and the ongoing pandemic. We enhanced our reputation for urgent, powerful reporting on the climate emergency, and made the decision to reject advertising from fossil fuel companies, divest from the oil and gas industries, and set a course to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

YouTube is testing a layout on Android that hides the comments section by  default | TechSpot

Categorisation and Perception of Audience

Story: Door to Door Testing in 8 post codes in London to track and trace the South African Variant

Tone of the comments sections matched the audience categorisation that the paper was aimed at.

Sun: Racist, xenophobic, suspicious of authority, anti vaxers, anti immigration (White & Proud)

BBC: Polite, mature, sorrowful, politely expressed and put forward an arguement .

Guardian: Woke generation, left leaning liberals, A & B readership: critical political, – reference to Hancock, Boris, Blair not many comments perhaps too busy or too cautious to express opinion in case in comes back against them.

I didn’t find any comments that were supportive

Do the audience have the right to comment: Yes, comments section is updated version of the Letters to the Editor Page, just not so considered.

Some journalists like Piers Morgan and Jeremy Clarkson are purposefully provociative. Megan Markel under constant attack.

Articles on the RTE programme on Illegal Adoptions

Do comments change what and how journalists write?​ Asses the impact of comments sections on journalism

You tube impact on journalism—why-youtube-works-for-journalists.html

fifty-one percent of U.S. adults watch YouTube videos, and one-fifth of those users watch news videos specifically. That’s 10 percent of the adult population that uses YouTube for news. 

The stats get even more impressive for target demographics that are a bit younger.

Nine out of ten 18-to-29-year-olds watch online videos, and almost half of those–48 percent—watch online news videos, Pew Research Center reports. That’s 24.5 million Millennials. As a news organization looks to attract new audiences, YouTube is a great place to start.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google

Organizations can use the following methods to foster audience engagement: BREAKING NEWS , PLAYLIST FUNCTION,  LIVESTREAM capability via Google+ Hangouts On Air if a channel wants to broadcast live video. 

  • Amnesty International has built a toolkit called the Citizen Evidence Lab to help journalists authenticate YouTube videos. 
  • When the creators interviewed President Obama earlier this year (above) –which received over 3.4 million views – many felt it was a slap-in-the-face to journalists who were not being invited to do so. For a journalist, an interview with the US President is a once in a career moment, and even after years of schooling and writing, most never do get such an interview. 2015

Rather, Gold says, she believes that the Youtubers’ interview with Obama is indicative of a new style of ‘infotainment’ that is emerging, which she claims, is a way for important issues to be shared with young people in a manner they understand and can appreciate.

“That’s where the audience is now. The teenagers that I know, when they get home, they don’t turn on their TVs, they open up their laptops. I think if you want to reach people where they are, and the audience as they’re growing into your target demographic, you need to be where they are.”

There was a time when radio threatened print journalism. Eventually, the two co-existed. Then, television emerged and that was considered a threat. journalists have felt threatened by the rise of bloggers – people who could go online and write news, without a formal news outlet.

YouTube has promoted democracy through free expression of individual political views, for example enabling Arab Spring protest videos to transcend national boundaries, causing certain restrictive regimes to censor or ban the website. YouTube has affected conventional politics, becoming even more important than direct mail in political campaigning, with politicians and governments using the website to directly engage citizens and promote policies. However, its recommendation algorithm has been shown to preferentially recommend extremist content, especially right-wing and conspiracy propaganda, leading to claims that it has been used as a tool for political radicalization. Concurrently, the website has been criticized for inadequately policing against false or misleading political content.

YouTube is an advertising platform dressed in a video sharing service’s clothing, just as your favorite show is being produced as a means to deliver ads to you. So, even if you don’t stick around to watch the ad clip you can skip in 3, 2, 1, the main video you’re watching could contain methods like product placement, or an advertising link that pops up during the video. 

Negative effects of YouTube:

  • Misinforms
  • Increases expenses
  • Increases screen time
  • Kills productivity

YOUTUBE HAS BEEN LARGELY OVERLOOKED in the national discussion about the spread of fake news, which typically centers around Facebook and Twitter. But that is changing.

More than a quarter of the most-viewed coronavirus videos on YouTube contain “misleading or inaccurate information”, a study suggests.

In total, the misleading videos had been viewed more than 62 million times.

That includes videos such as Plandemic, which was widely shared online last week.

High-quality production values and interviews with supposed experts can make these videos very convincing. Often facts will be presented out of context and used to draw false conclusions.

News events, particularly breaking stories, have long been a problem for YouTube. Many times over the last year, conspiracy theories have spread on the site following mass shootings in the US, falsely claiming knowledge of the assailants’ political ties or religion, or alleging the entire event was fake.

Within days of the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, for instance, search results on the site promised videos suggesting that law enforcement had deceived the public, and that the shooting was a “false flag” attack staged by the government to bring in gun control.

A month later, after another shooting in the US, search results on the site showed videos claiming that the assailant was a far-left terrorist.

As YouTube and Facebook remove videos calling shooting survivors ‘actors’, some say it’s given false claims more power

Several citizen journalists were detained in the early days of China’s coronavirus outbreak. Two of them are still under strict government surveillance.

Several citizen journalists were detained in the early days of China’s coronavirus outbreak. Two of them are still under strict government surveillance.


As China gradually emerges from the pandemic that so far has taken more than one million lives across the world, two Chinese citizen journalists are still under government surveillance. However, their friends have shared new details about their status with DW.

Prominent Chinese lawyer and citizen journalist Chen Qiushi went to cover the situation in Wuhan soon after the city went into total lockdown in late January. He interviewed frontline medical staff and citizens in the city while it was cut off from the rest of the world.

Chen uploaded dozens of videos onto his Youtube channel and offered some rare insights to the situation in Wuhan. However, he disappeared on February 6 and the world began to pay attention to his story. His friends also used his Twitter account to raise awareness.

Chen was one of the recipients of DW’s Freedom of Speech Award in May for his coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. On September 17, Chen’s friend Xu Xiao-dong, a prominent Chinese Youtuber, shared new details about Chen’s status in a video. Xu guaranteed that Chen is healthy and has never experienced any illness during his disappearance.

Journalists on the frontlines in Wuhan

“Qiushi is still under government surveillance, but he is not in Wuhan or Hubei Province,” Xu said in the video. “Officials have gathered all the evidence about him, including his bank accounts and his relationship with individuals abroad. So far information I’ve gathered indicates that he will not be prosecuted.” In another video on September 21, Xu said Chen was at a safe location and he enjoyed a certain degree of personal freedom. “Chen Qiushi is still the same person, but it is unlikely for everyone to hear from him until next year,” Xu said.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported on September 24 that a human rights lawyer said Chen was living with his parents in Qingdao at the time. The lawyer pointed out that since the Chinese government didn’t plan to prosecute him, it is illegal for them to keep Chen under strict surveillance.

Zhang Zhan is currently on a hunger strike

Zhang Zhan is not planning to plead guilty

The other citizen journalist currently in detention, Zhang Zhan, began to document the situation in Wuhan in February, as she uploaded videos of herself explaining her conversation with local people in the Tcity.

Zhang complained to friends about being followed by strangers in early May, and lost contact with them on May 14. On May 15, the hotel she was staying told her friends that she had checked out. On the same day, police in Shanghai brought her luggage to her parents’ house. She was later detained at a detention facility in Shanghai under the charges of picking quarrels and provoking trouble.

Ren Quan-Nue, a human rights lawyer hired by Zhang’s mom, tried to apply for visiting rights twice in September, but both times, police at the detention center rejected his application. He told DW that one of Zhang’s former cellmates told him that Zhang had been putting up a hunger strike since the beginning of summer and staff at the detention center would force-feed her as she refused to eat or drink anything.

“Her cellmate said her protests were pretty intense in the first two to three months, and she has been refusing to plead guilty to the charges imposed on her,” Ren said.

Wuhan in April under lockdown

Zhang is determined to continue the hunger strike

A source told DW that Zhang’s lawyer finally met her on September 28. She reportedly lost a lot of weight but still maintains a normal mental state. Even though Zhang’s family wanted her to stop the hunger strike, Zhang said she wouldn’t give up so easily.

“She still refuses to eat and the detention center has had to arrange two to three people to force-feed her porridge or other watery food,” the source said. Zhang still insists that she is innocent and she plans to remain silent when her trial begins. However, her legal team reportedly thinks it is a bad strategy to use silence as a form of protest.

“They are worried that she won’t have the strength to sit through a trial, so her lawyers want to convince her to end the hunger strike,” the source told DW. “However, Zhang has a very strong will so whether she will follow her lawyers’ suggestion or not remains unclear.”

Citizens in disaster zones have provided instant text and visual reporting from the scene. People in countries affected by political upheaval and often in countries where print and broadcast media are controlled by the government have used a variety of technological tools to share information about hot spots

Public discourse” signifies speeches, publications and other statements made in pursuit of the public good. … The standards of behavior that should govern public discourse constitute “civility”. Many of these same standards also extend to private discourse, with some exceptions.

“Discourse” indicates the crucial means by which this project is to be pursued. Proponents of competing positions must communicate—not just to those who already share their views, but to those who don’t; they must be part of a public conversation. This conversation is not just, however, an exchange of views. It must be an exchange of reasons. It must have the character of a public argument.

Mediating abortion politics in Ireland: media framing of the death of Savita Halappanavar

On 28 October 2012, Savita Halappanavar, an Indian woman living in Ireland, died in hospital while under medical care for a miscarrying pregnancy. According to her husband, her repeated requests for an abortion were ignored because of the presence of a foetal heartbeat. Ms Halappanavar’s death was a critical event in the process leading to a referendum on 25 May 2018, when the Irish electorate voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, removing the constitutional ban on abortion. The name Savita has become indelibly linked to the changing course of abortion politics, so it is timely to reassess the role of the media in shaping the parameters of the debate about the impact of her death on the issue. This study presents a frame analysis of Irish newspapers in the weeks following her death, mapping the political, medical, legal and socio-ethical discourses, as well as the related contemporaneous events that set the agenda for the type of debate that was to follow. It identifies four media frames: Public Tragedy, Political Opportunity, Abortion Legacy and Maternal Health. Our central argument is that the overall effect of media framing provided much face-saving for politicians in the way that the legislative issue was viewed through a conservative party-political lens, despite public outrage.

Citizens Assembly set up in 2016

Savita Halappanavar's parents hail Irish abortion vote - BBC News

Savita Halappanavar[3][4] died – 28 October 2012

On 14 November 2012, more than 2,000 people gathered in her memory and to protest Ireland’s abortion laws outside the Dáil in Dublin.[21] In addition, a candle-light vigil was held in Cork.[22] Halappanavar’s death led to protests in Galway, particularly from the local Indian expatriate community.[24] On 14 November The Daily Mirror reported that the University Hospital was the subject of several investigations.[25] On Saturday 17 November, testimated that between ten and twelve thousand protesters marched from Parnell Square to Merrion Square to demand a change in the law, whilst other rallies were also held across Ireland and in many other countries abroad.[28]

Halappanavar’s death became public after the Tonight with Vincent Browne programme showed front-page stories by The Irish Times and the Irish Independent newspapers on 13 November 2012.[20] This resulted in the news being disseminated on Twitter, including tweets by journalists Caitlin Moran and India Knight, and coverage by publications such as BBC News, the British edition of The Huffington PostThe GuardianThe Daily TelegraphDaily Mirror, and The Independent newspapers.[20]

The issue of abortion law in Ireland continued to be an issue for political debate. In 2016-17 the Irish government convened a Citizens’ Assembly to advise about the Eighth Amendment.

A note saying ‘Came home in our droves for you’ was among those left at a mural of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin in the last couple of days.
Note on Mural May 2019

abortion referendum 25 May 2018

mural painted on 25th May 2018


In computing, algorithms provide computers with a successive guide to completing actions. They’re comprised of a precise list of instructions that outline exactly how to complete a task.

A set of step by step rules that a computer uses to complete a task

How do computer algorithms work?

Computer algorithms work via input and output. They take the input and apply each step of the algorithm to that information to generate an output.

For example, a search engine is an algorithm that takes a search query as an input and searches its database for items relevant to the words in the query. It then outputs the results.

You can easily visualise algorithms as a flowchart. The input leads to steps and questions that need handling in order. When each section of the flowchart is completed, the generated result is the output.

What purpose they serve

Is You Tubes algorithms different to others

Analyse the Legal and Ethical challenges of the YouTube algorithm and its impact on public interest

What laws can potentially be broken by YouTubers, Hate Speech etc/Sponsorship

Our Community Guidelines are designed to ensure that our community stays protected. They set out what’s allowed and not allowed on YouTube, and apply to all types of content on our platform, including videos, comments, links and thumbnails. Hate speech policy Don’t post content on YouTube if the purpose of that content is to do one or more of the following. Encourage violence against individuals or groups based on any of the attributes noted above. We don’t allow threats on YouTube, and we treat implied calls for violence as real threats. You can learn more about our policies on threats and harassment. Incite hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the attributes noted above. Harmful or dangerous content policies Extremely dangerous challenges: Challenges that pose an imminent risk of physical injury. Dangerous or threatening pranks: Pranks that lead victims to fear imminent serious physical danger, or that create serious emotional distress in minors. Instructions to kill or harm: Showing viewers how to perform activities meant to kill or maim others. For example, giving instructions to build a bomb meant to injure or kill others. Hard drug use or creation: Content that depicts abuse of or giving instructions on how to create hard drugs such as cocaine or opioids. Hard drugs are defined as drugs that can (mostly) lead to physical addiction. Eating Disorders: Content that praises, glorifies, or encourages viewers to imitate anorexia or other eating disorders. Eating disorders are characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits which negatively affect a person’s health (including eating non-food items). Violent Events: Promoting or glorifying violent tragedies, such as school shootings. Instructional theft or cheating: Showing viewers how to steal tangible goods or promoting dishonest behavior  Hacking: Demonstrating how to use computers or information technology with the intent to steal credentials, compromise personal data or cause serious harm to others such as (but not limited to) hacking into social media accounts Bypassing payment for digital content or services: Showing viewers how to use apps, websites, or other information technology to gain unauthorized free access to audio content, audiovisual content, full video games, software, or streaming services that normally require payment. Promoting dangerous remedies or cures: Content which claims that harmful substances or treatments can have health benefits. Violent criminal organizations policy If you’re posting content Don’t post content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions noted below. Content produced by violent criminal or terrorist organizations Content praising or memorializing prominent terrorist or criminal figures in order to encourage others to carry out acts of violence Content praising or justifying violent acts carried out by violent criminal or terrorist organizations Content aimed at recruiting new members to violent criminal or terrorist organizations Content depicting hostages or posted with the intent to solicit, threaten, or intimidate on behalf of a violent criminal or terrorist organization Content that depicts the insignia, logos, or symbols of violent criminal or terrorist organizations in order to praise or promote them Harassment & cyberbullying policies If you’re posting content Don’t post content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions noted below. Content that features prolonged name calling or malicious insults (such as racial slurs) based on their intrinsic attributes. These attributes include their protected group status, physical attributes, or their status as a survivor of sexual assault, domestic abuse, child abuse and more. Content uploaded with the intent to shame, deceive or insult a minor. A minor is defined as an individual under the legal age of majority. This usually means anyone younger than 18 years old, but the age of a minor might vary by geography.

California Teen Dies Performing Online Stunt David Nuno, 15, cut his throat on a drinking glass after trying to make himself pass out.

GloZell Green, comedienne and YouTube personality.

This week, YouTube decided to ban “dangerous challenges and pranks” from the platform, updating their community guidelines and enforcement of rules with a promise they will remove content that qualifies as encouraging “violence or dangerous activities.”

The ban tightening follows headlines about Netflix’s Bird Box just keeps on growing, after a viral challenge related to the hit Sandra-Bullock-starring thriller made waves online. While they don’t mention the movie directly, the timing is notable.

YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, but we need to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous,” they explained in the revised guidelines posted online. “We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger or death, and pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress.”

An extremely thin YouTube star disappeared from the internet, but people with eating disorders are still getting ‘thinspiration’ from her videos

YouTube never took down her videos, as they didn’t violate its guidelines and it would have been discriminatory to remove them based on her looks alone.


Can matters ‘in the
public interest’ and
algorithms work
together ethically?

Yet one stone has so far been largely unturned. Much has been written about Facebook and Twitter’s impact on politics, but in recent months academics have speculated that YouTube’s algorithms may have been instrumental in fuelling disinformation during the 2016 presidential election. “YouTube is the most overlooked story of 2016,” Zeynep Tufekci, a widely respected sociologist and technology critic, tweeted back in October. “Its search and recommender algorithms are misinformation engines.”

If YouTube’s recommendation algorithm really has evolved to promote more disturbing content, how did that happen? And what is it doing to our politics?

 distorted to make you spend more time online,” “Watch time was the priority,” that only show people content that reinforces their existing view of the world.  Gentle, implicit, quiet nudging can over time edge us toward choices we might not have otherwise made.”

General counsels for Twitter, Facebook and Google prepare to testify before the House intelligence committee hearing on Russia’s use of social media to influence the election.

General counsels for Twitter, Facebook and Google prepare to testify before the House intelligence committee hearing on Russia’s use of social media to influence the election. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

From my article:

Tech companies use algorithms to locate abusive posts. They are built on database sets created by humans. Humans have prejudices, so if the data set is biased then the algorithm is biased. Abeba Birhane, UCD cognitive scientist, told the Irish Times: “that most predictive models are built on historical datasets….and we know the past is full of injustice and discriminatory practices.”

Hazel Chu believes this to be the case. She told me that: “YouTube makes profit on the spread of disinformation by far right influencers once a level of subscribers is reached, there is a monetary gain for both platform and influencer.

Olivia Jade Giannulli (is an American social media celebrity, YouTuber, and the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. While in high school, Giannulli began a social media career on YouTube and Instagram; as of 2019, both accounts have amassed more than one million followers.[1][4] Giannulli’s fraudulent acceptance to the University of Southern California was a prominent part of the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal.[5][6]


On March 14, 2019, two days after the scandal broke, Sephora distanced itself from Giannulli, announcing that the company would be ending its makeup partnership with her.[26] TRESemmé also dropped her as a sales partner.[27] 

Sephora ENDS its partnership with Olivia Jade after college bribery scandal  | Daily Mail Online

TRESemmé and Sephora dump Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade after customers threatened to BOYCOTT stores in the wake of her parents being charged in college bribery scandal
  • Hair product company TRESemmé said it has dropped Olivia Jade
  • Sephora also told on Thursday that it has cut ties with the 19-year-old social media star ‘effective immediately’
  • Olivia Jade is widely known as a social media and YouTube influencer who has done paid partnerships with brands like Sephora and Amazon
  • She also released her own Sephora palette last year, however the product was pulled from the website on Thursday as the brand released its statement
  • On Tuesday, Olivia’s parents Lori, 54, and Mossimo Giannulli, 55, were charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get Olivia into USC 
  • Online critics quickly began insisting that Sephora end the partnership and stops selling the product immediately
  • Australian fashion brand Princess Polly also removed Olivia’s dedicated page from its website on Thursday, while Hallmark cut ties with her mother Lori
  • Since the news of the bribery scandal broke, Olivia has faced brutal criticism on her social media accounts and her YouTube channel 

High earner: The 19-year-old, who has nearly two million YouTube subscribers, has worked with Sephora for quite some time and last year she created a palette for the store (pictured)Under fire: Now, some people are demanding that Sephora stop paying for sponsored posts from Olivia and pull the collaboration from stores+20

  • Under fire: After her parents were charged by the FBI, customers began demanding that Sephora stop paying for sponsored posts from Olivia and pull the collaboration from stores


Algorithms shape large parts of everyday life: our interactions with other people, what products we purchase, the information we see (or don’t see), our investment decisions and our career paths. And we trust their judgment: people are more likely to follow advice when they are being told that it came from an algorithm rather than a human, according to a Harvard Business School study.

Even though algorithms can seem “objective” and can sometimes even outperform human judgmentthey are still fallible. The notion that algorithms are neutral because math is involved is deeply flawed. After all, algorithms are based on data created by humans — and humans make mistakes and have biases. That’s why American mathematician Cathy O’Neil says: “Algorithms are opinions embedded in code.”

One example is YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. Its goal is presumably to keep the user on the site and to generate as many views as possible by recommending videos of interest to the user. The Guardian reported that several researchers, among them a former software engineer of the company, have noticed that the platform tends to suggest videos that promote extremist views like conspiracy theories. While this might help YouTube achieve its goal of more clicks, it may also violate common perceptions of a healthy media diet and might even have implications for democracy as a whole. The company said in a blog post end of January that it would take a “closer look” at ways to reduce the spread of content that borders on violating its community guidelines and “content that could misinform users in harmful ways.”

As algorithms are used in more areas of society, the need for newsrooms keeping those systems in check will continue to grow. Given the complexity of auditing algorithms, it’s important to consider how promoting media literacy and developing insightful journalism can be leveraged to hold AI systems accountable and citizens aware of its influences.

Can algorithms and journalism co-exist successfully?

Journalism & Society

P7, P8 and M4 Ethics and Censorship

Ethics and Censorship

Examples where journalists have acted ethically

Example 1: Paraic Gallagher, who works for Stephen Donnelly, the Minister for Health during the Covid 19 crisis reportedly contacted a selection of hand-picked journalists, asking them to attend a press briefing on the vaccine rollout. Other Journalists were refused entry.

Eventually, Mr Gallagher was forced to retract his selective invite, after RTÉ health correspondent Fergal Bowers offered an ultimatum, stressing than “unless the other journalists are allowed in, RTÉ is not going in.”

In my opinion Bowers acted ethically to ensure that the briefing would be reported in a manner that would be free from political influence as all journalists would be able to comment on it and not a selected few.

Example 2: Journalist facing jail for refusing to reveal the source of tribunal leaks .

Journalist Barry O’Kelly from the ‘Sunday Business Post’ refused to reveal his sources for stories on the planning inquiry to the Mahon Tribunal. He said he destroyed documents rather than produce them to the tribunal and risk identifying his source or sources which, he said, were sacrosanct.

The National Union of Journalists’ code says: “A journalist shall protect confidential sources of information.”

In my opinion the journalist acted ethically as this was a matter in the public interest and he risked his own personal freedom to ensure the matter was reported.
Examples where journalists have not acted ethically

Example 1: Alison O’Reilly of the “Irish Mail on Sunday” published an interview with Louise James, who was grieving for her family following an accident where her partner, her two young sons, her mother and her sister died when a car fell into the sea from a pier in Buncrana, Co Donegal. Her baby daughter, was rescued before the car.

Ms James refused to talk to the media, however, when O’Reilly arrived at her home accompanied by her two young children , Ms James spoke to her. O’Reilly said she was a journalist but Ms James, in her grief, did not fully comprehend that she was being interviewed and was unaware that. O’Reilly was recording the conversation using a concealed smartphone.

In my opinion the journalist behaved un-ethically by intruding on someone’s grief, not ensuring that the person knew they were talking to a journalist and by secretly recording the conversation. After the interview was published other Journalists were so appalled that they refused to work with O’Reilly.

Example 2: Roy Greenslade, spent his whole working life as a reporter and editor in many British papers, TV, and Radio Stations including The Sun, BBC Radio Brighton, Sunday Mirror, The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. During that career, he also wrote under an assumed name for Irish Republican paper “An Phoblacht”. He is quoted in The Sunday Times 28/2/21 “I do not regard it as dishonest to have written covertly in opposition to the editorial stance of the papers for which I have worked.”

The Broadcasting Act 2009 requires that broadcasters ensure that all news broadcast is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner, without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views. Greenslade, obviously had republican views which he expressed secretly under an assumed name, I believe that this was unethical behaviour as he was not maintaining an objective and impartial manner and he was expressing his own views. He should have had the courage of his convictions and written under his own name.
Journalism & Society

P7, P8 and M4: Gatekeeping and News Selection

Gatekeeping and News Selection

My definition of Gatekeeping:

Gatekeeping is the process of receiving information, selecting or rejecting it or parts of it and making decisions on the importance and emphasis that will be placed on the information before it is presented to the public.

As gatekeeper to The I will select 5 stories that will appeal to my target audience of people in the Group C2 – Eectricans, Plumbers, Carpenters and blue collar professions

To help in my selection I will look for stories that are fresh, unusual or unpublished. Stories that create impact, easy to understand, out of the ordinary sudden events. As most new is bad news I will select one of the stories to be a good new story.

1) Man to appear in court after arrest during search at which dog was shot dead

This headline is intriguing because, we don’t know if the police or the people being arrested shot the dog. It is an unusual, out of the ordinary event. Very many people own dogs so I thing this would appeal to everyone on a human level.

2) Married couple to go on trial over ‘dodgy box’ TV streaming service in Dublin and Meath

I think this story will appeal to the demographic as most would probably have the ability to install a dodgy box and would be interested to find out what happens to people who get caught as they may identify with them.

3) Gardaí arrest seven people following reopening of hair salon in Balbriggan

This story is fresh as concerns an event that is only happening because of Covid 19. It is a new event in Ireland, people have been fined before but not arrested.

The salon workers and owners would fit the demographic. Depending on their viewpoint on observing Covid restrictions readers would either be furious with the law breakers of sympathetic to them. This item would have meaning to the demographic as they may identify with the people in the story.

4) Tiger Woods ‘very fortunate’ to survive after suffering serious injuries to both legs in car crash

This story about an elite person in the golfing world has both an international and sporting appeal. Many in the demographic may play golf and be a fan of the celebrity. The appeal of bad news happening to someone else can be more exciting than hearing of good news.

5) 320,000 pupils to return to school from next week – the full plan for sending children back to education

As Covid 19 is the main story of the year, it would feature in every newspaper. The return to school is a good news story which would have meaning for the demographic as they could be parents so it would be personal to them. As teachers do not feature in this demographic there would be no negativity.

Summary : In this selection of 5 articles, I find that they are quite similar and all have shades of schadenfreude meaning finding joy in someone else’s misfortune.  Bad news stories are more likely to be reported than good news because of their extreme nature, their novelty value, that they are un-nuanced and the prospect of the reader’s identification with the subject in the story.

Journalism & Society

P3, P4 and M2: Checks and Balances

Checks and Balances

374/2020 – A Family and The Irish Times

Summary of the Complaint: A family complained that the paper had named their mother as as a person who had died from covid and gave details of the removal of the body. The editor apologised and agreed to remove the woman’s name from their online editions. The family were not happy and appealed to the Press Ombudsman who ruled:

I am upholding this complaint. Principle 5.3 of the Code of Practice states: Sympathy and discretion must be shown at all times in seeking information in situations of personal grief or shock. In publishing such information, the feelings of grieving families should be taken into account.

In publishing the name of the family’s mother without any consultation with the family The Irish Times breached Principle 5.3 of the Code. While publication of the article may well have been justified in the public interest, publication of the complainants’ mother’s name was not.

In my opinion the reporter should have sought permission from all the families before publishing the names of the deceased.

181/2019 – Complaint about Irish Examiner upheld

The paper published a story under the headline “Anti-vaccine campaign led to boy ending up in A&E”.

The account was based on a report which comes under the HSE. The report said the case “highlights the potential for a vaccine-preventable disease to cause acute, life-threatening illness in an unvaccinated child”. The article stated that “even though both parents were “well informed” regarding vaccine-preventable diseases … they chose not to have him vaccinated …  (because of) social media reports of a potential link between the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum disorder”. The article reported that the child had non-typable haemophilus influenza

A man wrote to the editor of the Irish Examiner complaining about the inaccurate headline as the child was diagnosed with a form of influenza that was not vaccine preventable.

The editor responded to the complaint stating “On the face of it the headline looks wrong and if that is the case we shall correct it. I shall investigate its path through to publication and revert to you shortly”.

The man was not satisfied with the delay and made a formal complaint to the Office of the Press Ombudsman. He claimed that the article had breached Principle 1 (Truth and Accuracy) of the Code of Practice as “no vaccine exists for the illness with which the child was hospitalised”. He requested that a “new article should be published by the Examiner exonerating the “anti-vaccine campaign” from blame and apologising for misleading the public on this important matter of public interest”.

The Irish Examiner defended the article saying the “account appears to be a fair and accurate report of a paper produced by practitioners at University Hospital Galway who were describing the regrets of parents who felt that they had given undue weight to campaigners in deciding not to have their child vaccinated”. The editor said that he had “clarified the online story by changing the headline to ‘Parents of hospitalised 13-year-old regret giving weight to anti-vaccine campaign’”. The editor also said that he would not publish an article exonerating the anti-vaccine campaign as requested by the complainant.

The complainant said that the editor’s response was not sufficient. He described it as “too little and far too late”.

As the complaint could not be resolved by conciliation it was forwarded to the Press Ombudsman for a decision.

Principle 1: (Truth and Accuracy)

Principle 1.2 requires a significant inaccuracy to be corrected promptly and with due prominence. The headline to the article published on 5 June required to be corrected, but the correction was not carried out promptly and there was no correction carried in the print edition. Therefore Principle 1 was breached.

Principle 2

I can find no evidence that requirements to distinguish between fact and comment were breached. The article was based on a report by a reputable health agency. Principle 2 not breached

Principle 8

I can find no evidence that requirements in regard to causing grave offence or stirring up hatred  against any individual or group were breached. Principle 8 not breached

The newspaper appealed the decision of the Press Ombudsman to the Press Council of Ireland on the grounds that there had been an error in the Press Ombudsman’s application of the Code of Practice. 

At its meeting on 6 September 2019 the Press Council decided that the appeal was not admissible because it did not contain sufficient evidence to support the grounds cited.  The decision of the Press Ombudsman therefore stands.

In my opinion the paper should have exercised more care in writing the headline. The facts of the article were true and well reported and the Press Ombudsman could find no breach of principles in the published article. I feel that the headline was written provocatively as the “Anti Vax Campaign” is controversial and readers would be more like to read an article bearing such a headline, which is quite tabloid in its salaciousness and not what I would expect from the Examiner.

I feel the Editor made the right decision in refusing to publish an article exonerating the anti-vaccine campaign. It can be difficult to ensure an article is balanced by giving both sides of the story, but it must also be factual so in publishing the article requested by the complainant, the editor would have been publishing an argument for anti-vaccination which is based on no scientific facts. The science against the MMR vaccine has since been repudiated.

582/2020 – A Woman and the Sunday World

Summary of the Complaint: The wife of a newly released sex offender who had been jailed for sexually abusing her daughters, was photographed in the garden of her home with the sex offender. Her image was pixelated. The article stated that new CCTV had been affixed to the house and the address was given. She complained to the Sunday World and the editor defended the publication. It went to the Press Ombudsman for decision under Principle 1 (Truth and Accuracy) and Principle 5 (Privacy)

The complaint was not upheld.

Under Principle 1 it was found that a significant inaccuracy had not taken place and therefore did not require correction. For this reason, Principle 1 was not breached.

Principle 5

The complainant based her claim of a breach of her privacy on three matters –  the publication of her photograph, the publication of a photograph of her house and the inclusion of her address in the article.

People in their front gardens are in view from a public place and lesser expectations of privacy can be expected. Allowing for the fact that her face was pixelated the woman’s privacy was not breached by the publication of her photograph.

People’s rights of privacy do not extend to the prohibition of publication of images of the exterior of their houses if the photograph is taken from a public place.

Newspapers may publish addresses in certain circumstances without breaching the Code of Practice. This includes where it is necessary to give an address in order to avoid wrongly identifying people who may share the same name as the subject of an article. In these circumstances the Sunday World did not breach the woman’s privacy by publishing her address.

18 December 2020

Appeal to Press Council of Ireland

The woman appealed the Press Ombudsman’s decision to the Press Council of Ireland.

The Press Council considered the appeal at its meeting on Friday 5th of February 2021.  It decided to reject the appeal on the basis that it did not cite any of the three grounds under which an appeal must be submitted.

In my opinion I agree with the Press council and feel that the reporters acted correctly in publishing an article and image in the public interest and did not breach privacy or truth and accuracy principles

Journalism & Society

P1, P2 and M1: News Ownership and Media Imperialism

News Ownership and Media Imperialism

Definition of Media Imperialism: This is where the media industry in developed wealthy countries influences the media negatively in smaller less wealthy and developed countries.

The output from this media is seen as a model for the smaller country. The customs and speech patterns of the population in the smaller country can be influenced adversely by the larger country to the determinant of its own customs and language.

It can also mean a local media industry in a country where most of the media is controlled by one or more corporate companies.

My example as seen in my own life is of the influence of British TV (Grange Hill) and US TVs (Saved by the Bell) children/young adult programme which were shown on RTE in the afternoons in the 1980s. In these programmes the mother of the families was address as Mum (British) or Mom (US). I noticed that my own children and their friends started calling their mothers by these forms instead of the traditional Irish form i.e. Mammy/Mam/Ma. This form of Imperialism necessitated a truly Irish response of “batin’ it out of them with a big stick”.

Media Imperialism – Dallas

The Inside Story Behind the Show That Changed Texas Forever

(I am using the American Show Dallas as my example as I have never seen any of the YouTube videos before so would be unable to analyse them)

Dallas The TV Series aired by CBS in 1978 was about a wealthy always fighting family of oil barons and cattle ranchers. The Ewings celebrated excess, and they fought in the boardrooms and the bedrooms, the men wore cowboy hats and the women designer clothes. The bad boy of the series was J. R. who believed that “All that matters is winning.” I wonder if Donald Trump watched Dallas.

The first episode was watched by hundreds of millions of people across the world and Dallas became the number one show in the U.S. A cliffhanger at the end of one of the series called “Who shot JR” was watched by 360 million viewers in 57 countries.

Ien Ang, a cultural studies professor and the author of “Watching Dallas” said: The show became more than its huge ratings. Jack Lang, the French minister of culture at the time, said something like, “Dallas is the epitome of American cultural imperialism.”

Matt Zoller Seitz, an American film critic wondered if people in other countries were watching: “because they found the characters relatable, or were they watching it because it was essentially, in their minds, a black comedy about a bunch of capitalist pigs in cowboy hats?”

So why did people all over the world watch Dallas? I, my family, my friends and work colleagues watched every week and most coffee breaks were devoted to talking about it. Us women copied the fashion, the hair styles and the make up. I don’t think any Irish men would have been brave enough to wear a ten gallon hat but perhaps they walked with a bit more of a swagger when they pictured themselves as JR.

As an example of Media Imperialism, Dallas fits the bill, it demonstrated the wealth, power and bravado of modern America in contract with most of the rest of the world, and it influenced the audience who watched it. Was it a negative influence when JR said things like: “Any thing worth having is worth going for -all the way ” or did it inspire Irish people who were going through the recession of the early 1980s where unemployment was almost 20 per cent and large-scale emigration was under way. Nearly 25% of all Irish emigrants went to the states, many of the undocumented. Maybe, they though they could borrow a little of JR’s chutzpah and make a better life for themselves..

Journalism & Society

M2: The Right to Privacy and Freedom of the Press

The Right to Privacy and Freedom of the Press

M2 Evaluate the way that audience rights inform the output of journalism productions

Definitions of the Right to Privacy

Privacy is a fundamental human right, enshrined in numerous international human rights instruments. It is central to the protection of human dignity and forms the basis of any democratic society. It also supports and reinforces other rights, such as freedom of expression, information and association.

The right to privacy is an element of various legal traditions to restrain governmental and private actions that threaten the privacy of individuals. Over 150 national constitutions mention the right to privacy. “Wikipedia

A private individual has the right to carry out their private life out of the public eye.

When an individual is dealing with any third party, their personal details and their business dealing must be kept confidential between the individual and the third party for example, information relating to business, banking, legal or medical matters.

When an individual gives their personal information to an institution in should be kept and used only for the purpose it has been given and should be removed afterwards and not shared with any other individual or institution.

The press should not publish any private personal information such as an address or photographs or details which could identify anyone, unless it is in the public interest.

Definition of Freedom on the Press

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 – Code of Practice)

The right of newspapers to publish stories and articles without being controlled by the government.” (

The press must be free to publish any story that is deemed newsworthy and in the public interest without fear of any material loss, imprisonment, or physical danger to themselves or others.

A free press is essential to maintain a democratic society. It must be free to tell the truth, to facilitate debate and to challenge vested interests. With these rights comes responsibilities; journalists have a duty to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards

Case Studies

  1. From both case studies explain how privacy was breached.​
  2. From both case studies explain how the company would justify the use of information.​
  3. Write why from an ethical point of view who you think was right.​

Case Study 1: Inappropriate use of CCTV footage by West Wood Club

  1. Breach of Privacy: The report found that the club was in breach of Section 2(1)(c)(ii) provides that data shall not be further processed in a manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes for which it was obtained

The club were within their rights to capture images on their CCTV for Security purposes and there were signs displayed advising members and staff that they could be recorded.

The privacy breach occurred because the club used the captured images not for security but to try and refute the customer’s complaint. The Commissioner found: “ it was entirely inappropriate for the data controller to produce personal data, about other individuals as it transpired, which was obtained for ‘security’ purposes, to attempt to deal with this matter”

Privacy could also be breached as cameras were placed in the private areas of the steam/sauna room. The report states ” excessive and disproportionate use by West Wood Club of CCTV footage for the purpose of dealing with the data subject’s complaint.”

The privacy of the other indviduals’ captured on the CCTV was also breached when these images were shown to the customer who complained.

2. Company Justification: The Solicitors for the Company put forward a case that the CCTV had been gathered correctly and was held for the right amount of time and that it could be viewed if it was a case for the general good.” This general good included issues of theft and personal safety and integrity. They tried to make a case that it was a health and safety issue to discover if the sauna had been cleaned.

3. Ethics: The club was unethical in its handling of a genuine customer complaint.

The club set out to discredit the complainant and did not appear to investigate the complaint. Their motive in viewing the tapes was not for any security purpose but to try and show the complainant as a liar by proving that she had not telephoned from the sauna area.

They viewed the CCTV not of the sauna but other areas and finding someone or some others who resembled the complainant, presented the CCTV images to her.

They invaded the privacy of the other members when they showed the images to the complainant. They further compounded the situation by revoking her membership.

Case Study 2 – Night club – collection of mobile numbers for marketing purpose

Breach of Privacy: The complainant received text messages about a promotion in a nightclub club but she had not given them her phone number  or ever been in he club .

This action was in breach of Data Protection Rules in relation to electronic communications which state that an unsolicited communication for the purpose of direct marketing must not be sent to someone unless that person has consented to receive such communication.

Customers’ privacy was not being protected as the number were recorded on a piece of paper which was padded around from person to person. Numbers could be recorded incorrectly either deliberately or by mistake. Other people could see the numbers. People who had been drinking at a nightclub may not be in a position to give an informed consent to receiving marketing texts.  

2. Company Justification: The club advised that the number had been obtained in an in-club promotion. They would have wanted the information so that they could target people who had attended the club to come more often by texting them to advertise club promotion.

3. Ethics: The company behaved ethically and took immediate steps to rectify the situation. They removed the complainant’s details and they have set up an text number that customers who wish to opt out of marketing can use.

The Commissioner made suggestions that they instigate an electronic method of collecting and recording text numbers to prevent errors and they ensure that customers are in a fit state to give consent by using this method early in the evening.

The report does not state if the company has agreed to these suggestions but the commissioner feels they will act more responsibily in the future.

Journalism & Society

P3 and P4: Categorisation and Perception of Audience

Categorisation and Perception of Audience

(Three examples from the comments sections on three different news sites on the same story.)

Example 1 – The Sun Newspaper – 65 comments: “DOOR-to-door testing has today started in eight postcodes as health officials race to track every case of the South African Covid variant.”

Trucker42 minutes ago No ‘race’ to stop hundreds of daily flights from gods knows where tho. We should sue this government for wilful negligence

White n Proud37 minutes ago stop letting immigrants into the country then who are spreading this
57 minutes ago Not for a million quid would i have their stuff rammed in me.

The Sun newspaper would appeal to people in Category D (Manual workers such as drivers, post sorters). The presumption being that workers in this category are semi-skilled or unskilled manual workers who would have finished their education at a young age. They could also be fearful of losing their jobs to newly arrived immigrants and see them as a threat to their health and their jobs. The comments above would appear to bear this out as they are xenophobic and suspicious of people in authority i.e. the government and the medical experts. They are blaming the spread of the virus on people arriving into the country see Trucker and White & Proud‘s comments and do not believe the vaccine can prevent the disease see Bloatedasfk‘s comments

Example 2 – BBC News – 717 Comments: Covid-19: Test blitz to ‘find every case’ of South African variant 

Sylvia Campbell 5 hours ago Unlikely this will be a success as every other testing attempt in the past has been a dismal failure as they cannot get it organised properly.

Ricky Dennis 4 hours ago Here we go again, even more brain washing, gotta keep people scared 😱

T H 5 hours ago That right BBC blow this out of proportion, scare people. You are a disgrace

As the BBC is the main established and oldest channel in the UK it would appeal to a mature. middle class, well educated audience. People belonging to Categories Group B (Teachers, Middle management, Fairly well paid professionals) and Group C1 (Junior management, bank clerks, Nurses, “White collar” professions) It is difficult to categorise a typical BBC Viewer as it is an established site which has a strong reputation and is a widely trusted source of news, so a wide sample of people would dip in and out daily.The comments above reflect that the audience are more educated than the Sun Viewers as they are not blaming immigrants or travellers. The comment from Sylvia Campbell is a mature if sorrowful expression of her feelings that the government have not got the capacity to deal with the virus. The other two comments are very suspicious of the reporting, though still politely expressed. I wonder why the BBC is losing the trust of it’s audience. The only reason I can come up with to account for the comments above is that as an online service it may have a younger audience who are not prepared to place their trust so willingly in the Institution.

Example 3 – Guardian News – 11 comments: Matt Hancock holds Covid-19 briefing as urgent testing for South Africa variant begins

roger 12345
16 hours ago Look at the statistics for old people after the vaccine the death rate as shot up its in the vaccine

Angus Thomson 15 hours ago Search on duckduckgo ” only the vaccinated died

Concerned Citizen 7 hours ago There can’t be anyone left now who hasn’t woken up and is smelling this

Dan Hub 5 hours ago Vaccination post code lottery now :

Johnno H 14 minutes ago Hancock must be the most insincere person in the country, only BORIS and BLAIR could rival him !!

The Guardian is a well respected and slightly left leaning liberal newspaper which appeals to people from Group A (Doctors, Lawyers, Scientists, well paid professionals) and Group B (Teachers, Middle management, Fairly well paid professionals). It would be seen as the paper for the “woke” generation. However, few of the comments above reflect those categories of readership. They are typical conspiracy theorists claiming that the vaccine is being given to old people to kill them. See Comments from roger 12345 and a reply from Angus Thomson. There were only 12 comments on the site so perhaps the people in Group A are too busy or too cautiously aware of their own reputation to have their name affixed to any comments which may come back to haunt them. The comments from Dan Hub and Johnno H are more political and more typical of the audience.

Journalism & Society

P1, P2 and M1: Journalism and Society News and Case Study

News and Case Study

Definitions and explanations of “News”
  1. Oxford Dictionary : New information about something that has happened recently – Information about something that has just happened or is just about to happen
  2. Wikipedia: News is information about current events – Information about things happening currently in all areas of life affecting people and the planet including politics, conflict, crises, civil unrest, climate, economics, sports, society and any unusual or interesting phenomena
  3. Mass Communication Talk: News is the reporting of an event that is fresh, unusual and which is interesting to a greater number of people Reporting of the facts in an event which is new, unpublished and uncommon, exactly as it occurred and which will be of interest to most people

Michael Clifford: Real shame lies with Church, State and society

WED, 13 JAN, 2021
Irish Examiner Logo

Examples of Religious and cultural sensitivity

To the whims of priests in a Sunday pulpit, to the power of bishops obsessed with sex” 

The two parts of this statement are religiously insensitive and could cause offense to Catholics who would believe that the priest in the pulpit is preaching the Word of God and not speaking on a “whim”. The idea that a Catholic Bishop, a Prince of the Church, would be thinking about sex would be an anathema to the congregation.

Nuns whose own sexuality had been repressed since teenage years.

Catholics believed a nun was a bride of Christ, who held a true vocation and was as virginal and pure as Mary, the Mother of God. Her choice of celibacy would have been seen as a gift to Christ and the idea that under her habit was a body like any woman would not have been countenanced.

It was easier to turn away and let them at it, rather than question what was going on in that dark societal sump.

A “sump” is a pit where dirty water collects, so the idea of likening a convent run home and the people who were consigned to it as a sump would be both religiously and culturally insensitive. The nuns had a reputation for cleanliness and the phrase that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” would be apt in the mind of the parishioners.

families were not just willing but eager to condemn fallen daughters to these institutions.

This statement is culturally insensitive to the families who presumably loved their daughters as much as any other family. However, the societal norms at the time would have made it impossible to go against the Church and Society and allow a daughter to openly bear a baby out of wedlock.

Party members are encouraged to spy and inform on siblings, parents or children.

This statement is particularly insensitive to Irish families as the stigma of being an “Informer” throughout Irish history was to be the worst outcast in society

“But to pack her off into that home to have her bastard child.”

I think this statement of “bastard child” is more culturally insensitive to readers now that it would have been at the time of the mother and babies homes. After all, it was only in 1987 after many years of campaigning, that the Status of Children Act finally abolished the status of illegitimacy

Marian Keyes Novel Writing Class

The Doughnuts Had Failed to De-Escalate The Situation

Exercise 1 – 500 words using the Writing Prompt above

Teresa regretted the foolish joke as soon as she had made it.  Angela’s face clearly showed that like Queen Victoria “she wasn’t amused”. Teresa had said it as just something to get over the boredom of doing another compulsory online training session on fraudulent transactions.  She shouldn’t have said the characters on the video looked like Angela’s husband.  She had never even seen Angela’s husband so had no idea what he looked like.  Angela did not look in a forgiving mood, she sniffed and walked away.  Now I’m in trouble thought Teresa.  Anyway, the manager was looking at them, it was time to get back to work.

Teresa worried about it on way home on the train.  Angela had been very good to her, training and helping her from the moment she started the job.  Angela was an old-fashioned sort of person and put great store on manners and acting appropriately at all times.  But she was also quite jolly and enjoyed a laugh in a reverend mother sort of way.  Obviously, Teresa’s joke fell very short of what a reverend mother would enjoy.

Teresa’s mind started to run away with her that night in bed.  Angela was very influential in the office and had a little clique around her, Teresa had been delighted to be part of the clique but knew it would be very easy to be cast aside.  She thought about coffee breaks on her own and lunch times spent pretending to read a book so as not to look like too much of a loner.  She needed to remedy this situation tomorrow.  After much pondering, she decided the only way was to throw money at it.  Relieved to have found a solution, she fell asleep.

The next morning Teresa was in the queue outside Krispy Kreme before it even opened.  Now how many was exactly the right amount to buy?  One for Angela, or one for her and Angela, but then if Angela took hers and left Teresa eating one on her own…..not a good look.  Maybe enough for the whole team.  Thirty-five euro was a lot of mea cuplas.  But it had to be done.

Teresa arrived at the office carrying the box with the label showing so that everyone would know they were being treated to the best.  At the coffee break she opened the box and invited everyone to help themselves.  The rest of the team dived in, no-one gave Teresa the cold shoulder so hopefully there was no gossip going around, but they all wanted to know what the occasion was.  Teresa knew this would be asked and was ready with a quick “a treat for all my lovely friends”.  She watched Angela furtively, hoping to see her hand going towards the box.  But no, the hands were kept folded in her lap, her profile was turned away and she was made a few loud sniffing noises.   The doughnuts had failed to de-escalate the situation.

Investigative Journalism

P8 and M4 Assess and Analyse Feedback

Summary of feedback from Formative Presentation from two peers and the tutor

  • I received positive feedback from Eliana.
  • I also received positive feedback from Avril who told me:
    • that she enjoyed my self reflection on the primary and secondary research and my evaluation that I felt I had conducted my primary research too early in the process.
    • My learning from this exercise was that it would have been better to work the secondary and primary in tandem as I felt that I would have been in a better position to ask quality questions to get to the root of my investigation.
    • Avril also commented on the look of the presentation which she described as clean as not too much words on the slides.
  • The Tutor’s feedback was that the presentation was excellent, he made the following points:
    • Intrigued by the slide dealing with the three findings of the investigation as they did not tell the story but made him curious to learn more.
    • Approved of the reflection and analysis on the process of researching.
    • Enjoyed my use of images.
    • Warned me about the use of the word “refusal” in relation to an FOI request as it wasn’t an outright refusal but an advice that information would only be furnished upon receipt of an FOI request.
    • I amended the wording on the slide to reflect this.
Summary of Summative Feedback from Professional Journalist

  • The feedback from the professional journalist was that it was a good, comprehensive covering of an interesting subject.
  • He agreed with me that one of the difficulties in editing is deciding what to leave in and what to leave out and advised that it was very positive that I was aware of this.
  • He also complimented me for my awareness of the audience and that I was able to describe technical issues in clear language
  • He suggested that it would be improved for context purposes by gathering the public sentiment and gauging the atmosphere at Dollymount among the swimmers as a way of humanising the subject
What, if anything, might you do differently in your piece based on the feedback received

Humanising the story by way of interviewing the swimmers is an excellent piece of advice and may have made the story more personable and perhaps made readers engage more as sea swimming has become a phenomenon during the pandemic lockdowns.

I had considered chatting to the swimmers as I walk frequently at the seafront. However, because of Covid 19 restrictions I was very wary of talking in person to anyone in case I endangered myself or them.

I did have a telephone interview in the article with a Green Party local Councillor who lives in the locality and is an all-year-round swimmer. She is very well informed on the topic and was able to discuss her interactions with the various bodies who are responsible for water quality. However, her views are representative of her party.

I feel that I missed an opportunity where I could have asked her for the contact details of other non party affiliated swimmers who may have been willing to talk to me.

My learning from the feedback is that I could have improved my story by introducing some personal anecdotal stories from regular swimmers and I could have built on my connection with the councillor to widen my network of contacts.