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Reviewing the Irish media’s role in Ireland’s housing bubble


Mr. Magpie

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It is well documented on internet forums, blogs and other 'new media', but now some academic research has been conducted into the Irish media’s role in Ireland’s housing bubble.

The Why | Broadsheet.ie

The Role Of The Media In Propping Up Ireland’s Housing Bubble

Another way to look at the performance of the Irish media before the crisis is to consider that between 2000 and 2007, the Irish Times published over 40,000 articles on economic topics – but only 78 were about the real estate bubble, or 0.2 per cent of the total. In other words, any article that might have been critical about the housing market was effectively lost in a sea of uncritical reporting. That’s a very poor record for one of the most important economic events in Ireland over the last decades.

Irish Times articles’ titles mention in the research give an idea of the tone of the media coverage:

'Bricks and Mortar Unlikely to Lose Their Value’ (11 December 2002)
‘Prices to Rise as Equilibrium is Miles Away’ (18 March 2004)
‘House Prices “Set for Soft Landing”‘ (22 November 2005)
‘Property Market Unlikely to Collapse, Says Danske Chief’ (2 February 2006)
‘House Prices Rising at Triple Last Year’s Rate’ (29 June 2006)


and if ever an image illustrated the act of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.....



In a similar vein to many other facets of Irish life, the the Irish media don't do introspection, so don't be excepting a Mea Culpa any time soon.
 

toratoratora

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The print media in this country are a complete and utter joke. They are just mouthpieces for vested interests. The Irish Times and the Independent were all over the property bubble like flies to a turd. But they weren't calling it out for what it was or asking any hard questions, they were cheerleading it like nobodies business. Sure the Irish times even went and bought that property pimping website (MyHome.ie I think). They have less than zero credibility in my eyes. I couldn't care less if both the times and the Independent group disappeared in the morning.
 

Kev408

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I can't believe 'academics' have had to do a study to realise how a lying media lied to the most gullible people on earth. Anyway, people only have themselves to blame if they claim they were influenced by the media in their decision to buy a property. I wonder how many of those people often used the expression "a paper never refused ink" prior to their purchase?

As for paying for the privilege of being lied to? Madness.
 

ergo2

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1. Print media hyped the property market - all that advertising!

2. Irish times had also bought an internet property advertising company for afaik €50 mln

Those were the days
 

shiel

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The OP is too narrow in its focus. The issue of the failure of the media, including the internet, to hold the powerful to account during the Celtic tiger period is wider than just the property bubble.

Of more fundamental importance is the issue that one party dominated politics for nearly a quarter of a century.

To maintain one group of people in continuous power, no matter who they were, was the antithesis of democracy. The basic law of political science is that power corrupts. That applies to all of us irrespective of party. Insider elites can never be paragons of rectitude.

The problem was that media accepted government propaganda during that quarter century that the opposition were not fit to rule. Our former imperial masters made the same point about the Irish for nearly 800 years.

The Irish media, therefore, should not have pedalled this line. On the contrary they should have challenged it.

As a result of their failure to hold the powerful to account all of us were put at the mercy of government spin doctors.

We were also at the mercy of a small number of dominant media outlets who supported the government line and consistently ignored or ridiculed the opposition.

Journalists should have held those in power to account not because they were a particular political party but because they were the government and had been in power too long.

Instead they got into the tent with them.

We are living with the consequences in having a country bankrupt by the hubris of those who thought they were masters of the universe.

To cap it all the same media is complaining about the consequences of their own failures today.
 
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apologies now this has nothing to do with the said thread but i do not have enough posts to start a thread as yet but this needs to be heard.
5 people shot dead this afternoon in Illinois in the US
Breaking news on the american networks
shooter still on the run apparently, one more injured

USA RIP
 

Mr. Magpie

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The OP is too narrow in its focus. The issue of the failure of the media, including the internet, to hold the powerful to account during the Celtic tiger period is wider than just the property bubble.

I think you misunderstand the intent of the research, it was to focus on the previously un-highlighted role of the fourth estate in the creation of bubble. Of course the media could not have single-handedly created it, but could the bubble have been created without them?

I very much doubt it.

The researchers go into more in the paper, but here is a snippet from the conclusion which tallies somewhat with your post.

Conclusion said:
The overall argument is that the Irish media are part and parcel of the political and corporate establishment, and as such the news they convey tend to reflect those sectors’ interests and views. In particular, the Celtic Tiger years involved
the financialisation of the economy and a large property bubble, all of it wrapped in an implicit neoliberal ideology. The media, embedded within this particular political economy and itself a constitutive element of it, thus mostly presented
stories sustaining it. In particular, news organisations acquired direct stakes in an inflated real estate market by purchasing property websites and receiving vital advertising revenue from the real estate sector. Moreover, a number of
their board members were current or former high officials in the finance industry and government, including banks deeply involved in the bubble’s expansion.
 

Analyzer

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They were a disgrace.

Perhaps the BoI Chief Economist who appeared every Friday in the Irish Times BS (Business Supplement) was the worst.

Austin Hughes, who also penned articles for the IT BS, was always running him close though.

It is scary to think that they were taken so seriously in this country. And to think that one of them is still in a job thanks to the PAYE taxpayers, who were the recipients of much of the deceit.

Do we have any self respect in this country ?
 
Last edited:

PO'Neill

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Media's role in making of Ireland’s Housing Bubble

Good article on the above. When those who criticised the property bubble were been told to "commit suicide" or called "economic illiterates" by the ' experts ' in the Irish Independent, Times, RTE and the genius's in FF/FG/Labour.

"The Economist magazine, which stated in 2002 that Ireland’s real estate market had been ‘displaying bubble-like symptoms in recent years’ and estimated that it was then overvalued by 42 per cent. However, the Irish media were almost without exception cheerleaders for the booming property market, only dampening their enthusiasm months after prices had started to decline in late 2007 and 2008....... To give an idea of media coverage: ‘Bricks and Mortar Unlikely to Lose Their Value’ (11 December 2002), ‘Prices to Rise as Equilibrium is Miles Away’ (18 March 2004), ‘House Prices “Set for Soft Landing”‘ (22 November 2005), ‘Property Market Unlikely to Collapse, Says Danske Chief’ (2 February 2006) and ‘House Prices Rising at Triple Last Year’s Rate’ (29 June 2006)."

"Television displayed the same behaviour as the print press. During the boom, the state broadcaster, RTÉ, fed the national obsession with property by airing shows like House Hunters in the Sun, Showhouse, About the House and I’m an Adult, Get Me Out of Here. In particular, Prime Time, a leading current affairs programme, remained essentially silent on the dangers inherent in the rapid growth of the property market. Between 2000 and 2007, it presented over 700 shows, but only 10, or about 1 per cent of the total, talked about the housing boom. Worse, the majority of these had guests arguing that there wasn’t any bubble. This is not surprising, as most of them were either affiliated with the property and financial industries or politicians from Ireland’s establishment parties (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour), which all had direct or indirect political or economic interests in sustaining the fiction that the Irish economy was booming, and would not stop booming. They were quickly brought back to their senses, but alas, too late.

So folks, can the 'meja' yet again take their credit as mouthpieces of FF/FG/Labour, banksters, all sorts of chancers in landing us in this horrendous mess ?

The Role Of The Media In Propping Up Ireland’s Housing Bubble
 

Dublin 4

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Thread on this already- prepare for a potential Merge....

Edit - ya beat me to it Greg :shock2:
 

Burnout

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I have a life.
Media writes whatever sells and in the case of the property madness it was just the business of making money. We did however have an elected government and a regulator and plenty other (approx 168) elected TD / advisors. It was their job to monitor the states reliance on property and the problems that a child could see was happening. They failed totally. No point in blaming the media as they do not make the country's decisions.

It's like blaming hardware stores and the makers of gypsum and aggregate products.
 

Burnout

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I have a life.
Media writes whatever sells and in the case of the property madness it was just the business of making money. We did however have an elected government and a regulator and plenty other (approx 168) elected TD / advisors. It was their job to monitor the states reliance on property and the problems that a child could see was happening. They failed totally. No point in blaming the media as they do not make the country's decisions.

It's like blaming hardware stores and the makers of gypsum and aggregate products.
 

carlovian

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It's the unsaid scandal of the bubble.

The property porn supplements on a Thursday and Friday, the Irish times
Buying a property website for 50 million.

Rte with programme after programme pushing overpriced property on youngsters
while ignoring anyone who doubted the bubble.
 

PO'Neill

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Grand, I'll ask the mods to move my OP :lol:

Media writes whatever sells and in the case of the property madness it was just the business of making money. We did however have an elected government and a regulator and plenty other (approx 168) elected TD / advisors. It was their job to monitor the states reliance on property and the problems that a child could see was happening. They failed totally. No point in blaming the media as they do not make the country's decisions.

It's like blaming hardware stores and the makers of gypsum and aggregate products.
Is it not the media's role to provide constructive criticism and try to report the realities rather than been the echo of the Govt ?? But if as you believe the "media writes whatever sells" surely then so topless women with great ar$es etc is where the so called 'quality' media should be going ?

As for the hardware analogy, if the guy at the hardware store tells you something is of great quality but it falls apart in no time, are you supposed to be an uncritical customer ?
 

ManOfReason

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I'm pretty sure it was Bertie Ahern who called on naysayers to commit suicide. That aside, yes the media cheered on, but it was the FF led government and the banks who intentionally inflated the bubble through their actions. Some people 'got rich' believing what the read in the property supplements but that did not excuse them for not engaging their brains and seeing that the raising property prices, combined with the ever increasing supply, was unsustainable. The biggest sin of all was when the debts these people incurred were transferred to the taxpayer. All in all there is enough blame for the media, the politicians, the property developers, the solicitors and every unfortunate who bough a house they could not afford. The task now is to hold those with a legal responsibility to protect the public to account, unfortunately that is not happening, and never will.
 

carlovian

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Media writes whatever sells and in the case of the property madness it was just the business of making money. We did however have an elected government and a regulator and plenty other (approx 168) elected TD / advisors. It was their job to monitor the states reliance on property and the problems that a child could see was happening. They failed totally. No point in blaming the media as they do not make the country's decisions.

It's like blaming hardware stores and the makers of gypsum and aggregate products.
Totally disagree burnout.

It's a good journalists job to question things not just follow blindly.

The media let everyone down during the boom.
 
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