Newstalk makes a pre-Budget statement

The editorial team at Newstalk has made a statement about Budget 2010, which was broadcast today:

Ireland is at an unprecedented economic and social crossroad. The country appears divided. The road ahead seems unbearably bleak. But here at Newstalk we believe that Ireland has a proud tradition of overcoming, of achieving, of finding a way. We believe this is a country worth fighting for.

Charm, culture, energy and engagement have always been part of who we are, but so too have ambition, determination and achievement. We need to lean on these talents to re-position our country. Old solutions will not solve new problems. We need to be imaginative, decisive.

Every one of us must be prepared to accept the challenges that constrained economic circumstances impose…..

Read or listen to the full Newstalk statement here.


New mobile site for The Irish Times

For people who like news on the go, The Irish Times has launched a new mobile site*

The IT’s Hugh Linehan has the details over a Mechanical Turk:

We’ve decided to launch a device-neutral site which will render well on iPhones, BlackBerries, Nokias and everything else. It has breaking news, business and sport stories, and selected content from the newspaper. Some other popular functions, such as Most Read stories and Weather, are also included.

Full post from him here.


*Of course you can always use RTE’s mobile news and sports site: 😉

(DOI: RTE is my employer)

The Humble Bee – a multimedia series

Photo by Blathnaid Healy

I was lucky enough to be one of the journalists who received funding from the Simon Cumbers Media Challenge Fund for a reporting project this year.

A few weeks ago I traveled to Kenya and Uganda. Going by road from Nairobi to Entebbe I reported on people who keep bees for a series of stories focused on food security.

I traveled alone with a backpack full of equipment: video camera, digital camera and lenses, audio recorder, plenty of tapes and leads and of course paper and pen. The aim was to come back with a multimedia project similar to a series I also did for RTE called Global Classroom.

Today, the first part of the series, The Humble Bee, went live on It focuses on beekeeping as a means of improving food security on a macro and micro level. It looks at a family who keeps bees to make an income and a farmer who uses bees to improve pollination on his farm. There are videos and photos (more hopefully on the way) and an accompanying radio report, which was broadcast on RTE Radio One on World Report.

The rest of the series will look at other aspects of bee keeping in east Africa including women who keep bees, the environmental impact and the challenges some people face.

This has been a wonderful and challenging series to work on – I hope you enjoy it.

Check it out here

Something I’ve been working on…RTÉ.ie/elections

RTÉ Elections 2009

RTÉ Elections 2009

In the last few weeks quite a bit of my time has been spent coordinating the website for the 5 June elections. It was launched this week and you can visit it here.

Check out the group blog  Campaign Daily – with great contributions this week from Mark Little (who had an excellent blog on RTÉ.ie for the US elections), Miriam O’Callaghan and Cian McCormack.

Visit us at Twitter @RTE_Elections and while you’re there  follow Prime Time’s new Twitter stream @RTE_PrimeTime as well.

There’s lots of great material on the main site including an excellent guide to PR-STV by UCD’s Prof Richard Sinnott (the system of voting used in Ireland), chapters from the just published and widely discussed All Politics is Local, lots of great audio and video highlights from RTÉ’s best news and current affairs programmes and features written by young journalists covering the European Parliament elections.

It’ll be a busy couple of weeks ahead as the website keeps on growing and the elections get closer but I’m looking forward to it particularly the count weekend!


P.S By the way send us in your election photos!

Global Classroom – an RTÉ special series

Tomorrow RTÉ.ie presents a special series about technology in the developing world.

Joe Zefran, RTÉ.ie News Editor and I have put the cross-media series together.

Joe traveled to India and I went to Rwanda and Kenya where we reported and shot our own video for three reports on three programmes, including the Irish charity Camara, which are using three different approaches to reach the same goal: educating the world’s youngest citizens.

The series looks at how children in the slums of New Delhi are linked to the larger world, how one experiment wants to make sure every child in the world has their own laptop, and how an Irish charity is changing the lives of people in Kenya.

There will be full-length text features and web-exclusive interviews on RTÉ.ie/globalclassroom.

Plus, for the first time at RTÉ, RTÉ.ie will produce a three-part television series that will air on the Six One News and News on Two.

My reports will air on Monday and Wednesday and they focus on Camara and One Laptop Per Child.

This has been a very exciting project and I look forward to doing more like it in the future.

**Six One News reports**

Part One, Two, Three

Irish Times website going free

Changing Times

From Monday The Irish Times’ website will be free to access, according to an article on page three of today’s newspaper written by the Editor Geraldine Kennedy.

The site is moving to and will become a separate, commercial site.

The new site will offer ‘richer content in the form of pictures, graphics, audio and video’. The article also talks about developing many multimedia features.

People who are paid-up subscribers to the site will get a full refund, or as Ms Kennedy notes could instead become members of the new Irish Times Crossword Club. In fact they can try out the new club before making a decision. Although with this economic downturn upon us I can imagine what most will do…cash is king after all!

You can read the story online here, I’d have put it up earlier but couldn’t find it free-to-view at first.

Going to digest this story a little this morning and write more on what they plan for their new website later on.