Blog Task

Positives of comment sections:

  1. Gives a raw and honest view of the general public regarding news stories, without the “filter” of the media
  2. Validates the reader’s opinion for them if they did not feel validated already. Strength in numbers makes their opinion feel more powerful.
  3. A chance to engage with those who feel similar to you about certain subjects, or learn the opposing view of others.

Negatives of comment sections:

  1. Encourages internet trolling, which can be harmful to the victim’s mental health.
  2. Can be biased – people may base their opinions off of what others feel.
  3. May lead to disputes if the person is passionate about how they feel

Do the audience have the right to comment on pieces of journalism?
Do comments change what and how journalists write?

Yes. Without the public, there would be no journalism.

Some journalists, if not entirely confident in their work, may feel upset and disheartened by negative comments. As well as this, they may feel nervous to work on a story if they have previously seen comments from another source receiving hate.


blog task

YouTube has had a positive impact on journalism, particularly in the sense of citizen journalism. With a platform like this, it is easy for an aspiring journalist to sit down and produce content that suits them and their style. An example of this is Eleanor Neale, a true crime content producer, who uploads herself speaking on these cases from her bedroom based on her subscribers requests.

As well as this, many people prefer the alternative of watching/listening to a news story as opposed to reading about it. YouTube is a solid platform for this, as many news channels upload their content onto it afterwards. An example of this is CNN, who post their highlights onto the platform. Their account is verified, making it reliable for the media consumer.

While the opportunity for citizen journalists is great, this of course comes with its risks. Fake news is easily spread by YouTube, and many times can appear believable. This is due to being able to see the journalist’s facial expressions, reading their body movements and hearing their tone of voice, and can lead to potentially dangerous situations.

YouTube comment sections can turn negative very quickly. This can be disheartening for journalists, and many channels keep their comment sections off for this reason.

YouTube has impacted the public discourse in the sense that many of us are now oversaturated and desensitized to disturbing content. As the platform is mostly free reign until it is reported to a moderator, many people stumble across content that is gruesome (e.g. Bolivia University Accident, where 7 students fell through their schools railing.)

Source: Video shows moment balcony collapses at Bolivia university, killing seven students | The Independent

journalism and society

Blog Task

Discuss the professional, social, and practical contexts of journalism, through historical and contemporary precedents.

Discuss the development of online video journalism.

In 1994, The Daily Telegraph became the first news provider to go digital. In 1998, the Drudge Report released the first big scoop online with a story on Monica Lewinsky. In 1999, a software called Blogger was released by Pyra Labs. This encouraged an increase digital citizen journalism.

Source:  41 key moments in the history of online journalism {now 45} – have I missed any? | Online Journalism Blog

What impact did it have on traditional providers?​

Did they change?​

Traditional journalism took a hit when news apps for smartphones and tablets were introduced. Many news sources were now free at the click of a button. As well as this, news became quicker to release into the public, as separate blog posts could be made, as opposed to having to publish a full news paper.

Source: Advantages of online news services – The Information Age (

Who are the main providers of online journalism?​

Why are they top of the pile?​

1 News Corp. 2 The New York Times Company 3 Tribune Media Co. 4 Daily Mail and General Trust plc 5 E. W. Scripps 6 Gannett Co. Inc. 7 Daily Journal Corporation 8 A. H. Belo Corporation 9 The McClatchy Company

 Source: World’s 10 most powerful news outlets – Mental Daily


Journalism and Society P7, P8 and M4

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Ethics and Censorship

Unethical Journalism:

New York Times apologizes for ‘insensitive’ language in Berkeley article – The Irish Times

The New York Times broke the code of ethics in a report written 24 hours after the Berkeley balcony collapse tragedy, where a group of Irish teenagers lost their lives. In the article, offense to the families was caused due to the victims being described as “not just a source of aspiration, but also a source of embarrassment for Ireland”. This language came across as victim blaming, and was incredibly harmful during such a sensitive time.

Gareth Thomas: Journalist ‘told rugby player’s parents of HIV’ – BBC

The former rugby player’s privacy was invaded when the press got word of his HIV diagnosis. He had not discussed this matter with his family privately, and therefore was pressured into speaking about it. The journalist’s involved were incredibly unethical in the sense that they had no respect for his wishes regarding not making the matter public.

Ethical Journalism

Syria war: Tens of thousands of detainees still missing, UN says – BBC

The article follows the horrors of the huge number of those who have disappeared during 10 years of civil war in Syria. The journalist who wrote the article is ethical throughout the piece. This is due to them speaking respectfully upon those missing, acknowledging the war victims “unimaginable suffering” (which shows they are human, not just statistics), and protecting the identities of those who were brave enough to speak out by referring to them as “former detainee’s”.

Bobby Sands began his hunger strike 40 years ago today. What is its legacy? – The Irish Times

This article pays tribute to prisoner Bobby Sands in how he embarked on a hunger strike in protest of the British Government in order to end criminalization. The journalist who wrote the article remained ethical in the sense that they remained totally unbiased in their views of Sands. No opinion of what he did and stood for is mentioned (as this may differ for certain people), and the article is completely factual.

journalism and society

Journalism and Society P1, P2 and M1

people walking on paved road
  • News and Case Study

News definitions:

  1. A report of recent events
  2. Previously unknown information
  3. Material reported in a newspaper or newscast

News is information surrounding current events that informs the public, either written or orally. This can be carried out through citizen journalism, or professional journalism. (E.g. through a news presenter).

Letters to the Editor: Religion has no right to force itself on schoolkids – The Irish Examiner

Title in itself brings a negative image of religion by using word “force” – could offend those who take time and care to teach about subject and don’t believe they’re being forceful.

“The church had a distorted view of sexuality that seemed obsessive” – The Irish Times

Although I believe this to be true, I can imagine some of those passionate about the church to argue with this as they believe it as a personal attack on them (reminds me of “not all men” mentality)

“It seems that we may have been good Catholics, but we were not such good Christians” ” Bishop of Achrony Paul Dempsey

Blurred line between meanings of both? Not sure if particularly “sensitive”, but definitely confusing.

The sketch, which was part of the broadcaster’s New Year’s Eve countdown show, portrayed a mock news report in which God was arrested for sexual harassment.” – NI Humanists on RTE sketch

The sketch centers around blasphemy, which is a criminal offence in NI and came across as hugely intensive to viewers to see God in such a distasteful light.

Previous Article

‘”So-called” homes” – Some may debate that regardless of the ongoings in mother and baby homes, their name is their name.

journalism and society


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The Right to Privacy


  1. The right to privacy refers to the concept that one’s personal information is protected from public scrutiny. 
  2. The right of a person to be free from intrusion into or publicity concerning matters of a personal nature.

The right to privacy is the necessity of being able to keep certain aspects of your life away from the public eye.

  1. Freedom of the press—the right to report news or circulate opinion without censorship from the government.
  2. The right to publish newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter without governmental restriction and subject only to the laws of libel, obscenity, sedition, etc.

Freedom of Press refers to the right to publish or release relevant information to the public.

Case Studies

  1. The woman’s complaint about health and safety regarding the sauna had nothing whatsoever to do with ‘security’ issues. It was entirely inappropriate for the data controller to reveal cctv footage, while also bringing other individuals into it, which was obtained for ‘security’ purposes, to attempt to deal with this matter.  
  2. The inspection found that mobile phone numbers were collected when patrons of the club filled out a form that was passed around on given nights.
  1. Freedom of Press was justified by West Wood Club using their security footage in order to fully investigate their complaint.
  2. Freedom of Press was justified by the fact that those who went to the club willingly gave their details – however, it is unclear from the case study what they were told they would be used for.

From reading both case studies, I believe in both situations that those who made the complaint were in the right from an ethical point of view, as privacy was breached both times.


Journalism and Society P3, P4

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News and case study

Story Topic: GameStop Stock Shares

  • “Bankers targeting a company to short it i.e destroy it should be banned….not the normal guy who is against it.” – The Sun

This comment is against the idea of those who work with money should not be contributing to these shares, as ultimately it will destroy the company.

  • “Another article that doesn’t tell the truth that the real reason is because hedge funds illegally shorted GameStop 140%” – The Independent

Again, this person is not happy with the level of shares arising in GameStop. They don’t think the media is telling the full truth, and believe the occurrences are illegal and ultimately going to end in failure.

  • “I’m a terribly simple soul I know…. but in my view selling something that not only is not yours to sell but, in fact, doesn’t exist, on the hope you can buy it back cheaper later is…. what’s the word…. fraud? Yes that’s it… it’s fraud.” – BBC

This comment is blunt with their beliefs. They insist that this is fraudulent behavior.

  • All articles surrounding the recent soar in GameStop Stock Shares including comments following one common theme – skepticism.
  • The majority of The Sun, The Independent and BBC’s reader’s appear to believe that the trend of investing your money into the stock market surrounds itself with fraudulent activity.
  • I get the feeling from the comments that the reason they went as far as commenting was down to the purpose of wanting to raise awareness.

Journalism and Society P5, P6, M3

Gatekeeping and News Selection

Gatekeeping is the act of someone taking control of who has access to certain information. This can be news related, community based or relating to your identity.

Gatekeeping can relate to some people believing they have a right to be the only people that have access to this.

Demographic: 16-19 year olds.

“Flooding in Cork, Kerry and other areas amid rain and wind warnings”

Relevant for those who live in these areas and need to travel etc.

“Donnelly clarifies remarks on school re-opening after earlier saying union talks remained outgoing”

Relevant as this age category may still be in secondary school

“Ireland is getting a new covid roadmap, but what’s happening in other countries now?”

Relevant to contributing to young people’s social life.

“Coronavirus – one death and 686 new cases confirmed in Ireland”

Links in with roadmap, again relating to young people’s social life.

“Screen Watch: your guide to the best TV movies this week”

As we are in lockdown, many young people rely on TV for entertainment.

journalism and society

Journalism and Society P3, P4, M2

Checks and Balances

374/2020 – A Family and The Irish Times

The Irish Times released an article surrounding those who have passed from the Corona Virus. The article named four patients who had passed.

The child of one of those who had passed wrote to the paper. They stated that they had not given permission for their mother’s name to be used and that they “had every legitimate expectation to believe that our mother’s medical details, including her name, would not become public property”. They added that the article was “deeply distressing” to those close to her.

The family complained to the Office of the Press Ombudsman that Principle 5 of the Code of Practice had been broken.

The times we are living in are difficult enough without the media being insensitive to those effected in such a horrible way. A journalist should never be insensitive in their work for the sake of making a story more “interesting”. If this were to happen again, the paper should respect the family’s privacy during the difficult time and ensure they had full permission of the family to speak on their lost loved one.

582/2020 – A Woman and the Sunday World

The Sunday World released an article about the location of a man that had only recently released from prison, after being accused of sexually assaulting his wife’s daughters. A photograph of the man was released into the press, which included an image of his house and his wife. The wife’s identity was hidden by her being pixelated. The woman claims that the paper had also written lies about her regarding CCTV footage installed in her home.

When the woman contacted the Sunday World, they left her no response. She had to take the issue further to the Press Council.

From a journalistic perspective, the paper obviously should have acknowledged the woman’s concerns, as disregard for this reflects badly upon the paper once taken further. It was unnecessary for the Sunday World to bring the woman’s business into the article, as it was the man the public were concerned with.

375/2020 – A Woman and The Southern Star

The Southern Star released an article on a court case in which the complainant faced several charges. The newspaper stated that a woman was ordered to pay a fine to the court charity but had her charges dropped under the Probation Act.

The woman complained that there were a number of inaccuracies in the court report and called on the newspaper to apologise for their actions. She said the title of the article was false, she had not been arrested, she had not been charged with reckless driving, she had not been charged with threatening and abusive behavior and that she had not refused to make a statement.

It is important for a journalist to get the full story when reporting on a court case. Twisting the story to create a dramatic feel is never the way to go. This would highlight to journalists the importance of telling the truth when it comes to their writing.

journalism and society

Journalism And Society P1, P2, M1

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News Ownership and Media Imperialism

Media Imperialism is the influence of mass-media upon different customs and cultures, unintentionally causing erasure of identity. An example of this would be a catchphrase being used in an American TV show beginning to become popular in smaller nations, such as Ireland.


PewDiePie is Swedish but uses American sounding phrases such as “frickin'” and “dudes”. As his videos progress, he develops an American accent – assumingly naturally, but this accent influences his 109 million subscribers to do the same.

His videos cut to mass-produced American video games, which cause a knock on effect of media imperialism.

Audience interaction – Starts nearly all videos with “Hey, what’s up bros? It’s PewDiePie.”

Like Nastya

“Like Nastya” is a young Russian girl, but uses an American accent while on camera and features American Franchise in her videos (e.g. Disney). This is a similar situation to PewDiePie, who also does the same. However, Nastya’s father features in many of her videos, which he occasionally speaks in his native language. “Like Nastya” is aimed at a younger generation, who are more easily influenced by the media.