What's the story with The Irish Times?

St Disibod

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Is it just me or is the standard of The Irish Times plummeting?

Quality columns are disappearing- Drapier, O'Clery; while the Editorials have become clichéd and predictive. I mean, how on earth can you justify making MRBI polls front page news. They might be suitable to supplement a story, but they should never be the story.

Taking an example of truly shoddy journalism during the week:

The Irish Times said:
The National Pensions Reserve Fund posted the best annual growth of its five-year history in 2005, rising in value by 19.6 per cent, or EUR 2.4 billion.

Of last year's performance, he [Paul Carty,chairman of the NPRF] said: "We can't expect returns like that every year."
Gives you a nice warm and fuzzy feeling. And so it should, it's obviously a rehashed press release. Let us look to a foreign paper's analysis.

The Financial Times said:
Fund managers investing Ireland's Euros 15bn National Pension Reserve Fund have been told their 2005 performance was lacklustre and warned their mandates are under review.

Figures published with the annual review show that equity investments, which make up about four-fifths of the fund, delivered a return of 26.9 per cent. It underperformed the index of Irish pension funds, which achieved a 21.2 per cent return against the NPRF's 19.6 per cent.

Although the fund is wary of openly criticizing its fund managers, Paul Carty, chairman of the seven-member commission appointed by the government to oversee the fund, remarked last week that "some active managers have outperformed". It was taken as a big hint that some managers had not. "They know who they are," said an official at the National Treasury Management Agency, the government debt agency that will run the fund until 2011.
How is our own "paper of record" failing to unearth truth when foreign correspondants for other newspapers' supplementary columns are. If it wasn't for Doonesbury I'd have probably given up reading it by now.
 


baldur0300

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The problem with the Irish newspaper market is that there is a complete lack of choice. I read the IT because there is simply no other quality paper around but it definity has taken a nose dive as regards its content. The news is done lazily and I don't know about the rest of you but I always get annoyed reading the opinion pieces. There is an opening in the market for another paper.
 

joemomma

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St Disibod said:
Is it just me or is the standard of The Irish Times plummeting?

Quality columns are disappearing- Drapier, O'Clery; while the Editorials have become clichéd and predictive. I mean, how on earth can you justify making MRBI polls front page news. They might be suitable to supplement a story, but they should never be the story.
While I agree with you that standards have gone through the floor (since Geraldine Kennedy took over it seems), the paper has always put its opinion polls on the front page as far as I can remember.
 

Pidge

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St Disibod said:
Taking an example of truly shoddy journalism during the week:

[quote="The Irish Times":3ukv9ziy]The National Pensions Reserve Fund posted the best annual growth of its five-year history in 2005, rising in value by 19.6 per cent, or EUR 2.4 billion.

Of last year's performance, he [Paul Carty,chairman of the NPRF] said: "We can't expect returns like that every year."
Gives you a nice warm and fuzzy feeling. And so it should, it's obviously a rehashed press release. Let us look to a foreign paper's analysis.

The Financial Times said:
Fund managers investing Ireland's Euros 15bn National Pension Reserve Fund have been told their 2005 performance was lacklustre and warned their mandates are under review.

Figures published with the annual review show that equity investments, which make up about four-fifths of the fund, delivered a return of 26.9 per cent. It underperformed the index of Irish pension funds, which achieved a 21.2 per cent return against the NPRF's 19.6 per cent.

Although the fund is wary of openly criticizing its fund managers, Paul Carty, chairman of the seven-member commission appointed by the government to oversee the fund, remarked last week that "some active managers have outperformed". It was taken as a big hint that some managers had not. "They know who they are," said an official at the National Treasury Management Agency, the government debt agency that will run the fund until 2011.
How is our own "paper of record" failing to unearth truth when foreign correspondants for other newspapers' supplementary columns are. If it wasn't for Doonesbury I'd have probably given up reading it by now.[/quote:3ukv9ziy]

I hate Doonesbury! :x

St. Disibod, I think you may have taken a bad example there. You've looked at a national paper's coverage of a financial issue and compared it to a finance-specific paper's coverage.

While I can't exactly be a good judge of slipping standards (not being that old), I still think the IT is the best Irish paper around. Given, it's the paper I was raised on, but I have tried all the others and always come back to the IT. I'd get The Examiner if the Times was out (the news section is great).
 

St Disibod

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joemomma said:
the paper has always put its opinion polls on the front page as far as I can remember.
After quickly glancing through Lexis Nexis archives, what a resource!, the only times I can find opinion polls on the front page during the mid nineties is in the lead up to elections or referenda, which is different to splashing them out whenever there's a slow news week.
 

Worldbystorm

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The level of cost cutting is significant. I noticed last week on the online version the little habit of padding out the pages and articles by pulling information from one story into another verbatim. The actual depth of coverage is very poor compared to the past.

I presume Drapier vanished to make way for Stephen Collins. Not the best exchange IMO.
 

Vanilla

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The slide in the Irish Times is very easily explained. The financial crisis at the paper a few years back led to massive cutbacks, which was first felt in terms of Editorial standards - which are very patchy at the moment.
The cull in the number of journalists was bound to be felt eventually- and what has been mentioned on this thread are symptoms of it. Even Fintan O' Toole was rumoured to be thinking of taking up the latest redundancy package - before he was offered a 12 month sojurn at the re-established China office.

O' Clery's departure was a big loss. Marc Coleman is not cutting the mustard as Cliff Taylor's replacement as Economics Editor.
The axing of "Drapier", in favour of Stephen Collins' weekly statements of the glaringly obvious, is absolutely unforgiveable. Although Mark Hennessy has delivered the goods in terms of the political end of things.

As far as I can remember, they have always tended to put its opinion polls on page one. Given the interest that they generate, you can hardly fault them for doing so. They offer a chance to attract a wider readership to the Irish Times……for one day at least.

The opinion pieces can be good – but sometimes infuriating to read. Martin Mansergh and Garret Fitzgerald’s columns can be incredibly boring and even trivial. There are a couple of women who contribute to the opinion pages (whose names escape me) but they can be excellent.
Tom Humphries remains one of the paper's best, and the letters page is unmissable.

As has already been said there is a tragic lack of choice in the market. The Irish Times is the only show in town. What on earth will we do if this slide continues?
 

CookieMonster

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Pidge said:
I hate Doonesbury! :x
God, me too. I thought I was the only one!

I could say more on the decline of the IT but I'd only be repeating what's been said.

Given the increase of advertising lead freesheets, tabloid and quasi-tabloidesque papers I think there is room for another quality broadsheet though I wonder if the Irish Times faithful would turn and buy it?

Has there been an decrease in sales of the IT over the last five years given it's fall in standard? It's 9.30 and I'm not bothered searching, perhaps somebody knows off hand?
 

AndrewM

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Putting it into context with the other papers, it's lightyears ahead. While you can find fault with it, it dosen't having the gaping credibility gap of tabloid papers. It's foreign news sections are good, Lara Marlow is great and they always pull out some interesting stories that other papers wouldn't cover.
As for the editorials, I never started reading them-don't know why, just didn't, so I can't judge them.
 

Pidge

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CookieMonster said:
Pidge said:
I hate Doonesbury! :x
God, me too. I thought I was the only one!
Part of that is bitterness - I used to never get it. Now I realise that I was getting it; the joke was just shite!
 

CookieMonster

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Pidge said:
CookieMonster said:
Pidge said:
I hate Doonesbury! :x
God, me too. I thought I was the only one!
Part of that is bitterness - I used to never get it. Now I realise that I was getting it; the joke was just s****!
...joke?
 

EastGalway

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Interesting that no one mentioned Kevin Myers, who writes the Irishman's Diary three times a week.

Do people bother reading him anymore. I've heard it from quite a few that they gave up on the Myers Diary entries years ago.

I think this can be picked up on the letter's page. Myers used to attract alot more criticism in the past. He's been writing some controversial stuff recently on the 1916 commemmoration etc. but it doesn't seem to be attracting very much in criticism.
 

joemomma

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CookieMonster said:
Pidge said:
I hate Doonesbury! :x
God, me too. I thought I was the only one!
Doonesbury still has moments of greatness, but lately the sentimental hogwash surrounding BD's loss of a limb in Iraq has predominated.

However, if you think Doonesbury is rubbish, can you name a current daily strip cartoon which is not rubbish?
 

Pidge

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joemomma said:
CookieMonster said:
Pidge said:
I hate Doonesbury! :x
God, me too. I thought I was the only one!
Doonesbury still has moments of greatness, but lately the sentimental hogwash surrounding BD's loss of a limb in Iraq has predominated.

However, if you think Doonesbury is rubbish, can you name a current daily strip cartoon which is not rubbish?
No, but that's hardly an excuse for including it.
 

joemomma

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Vanilla said:
Tom Humphries remains one of the paper's best, and the letters page is unmissable.
Personally I feel that replacing Humphries with an equal weight of monkeys with laptops would not result in any significant disimprovement in quality. However you are quite correct on the letters page, this is the one page where the contributors have not allowed their standards to slip.
 

Zhirkov

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joemomma said:
However, if you think Doonesbury is rubbish, can you name a current daily strip cartoon which is not rubbish?
Curly wee is excellent, read it for a week and you'll be hooked
 

CookieMonster

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joemomma said:
CookieMonster said:
Pidge said:
I hate Doonesbury! :x
God, me too. I thought I was the only one!
Doonesbury still has moments of greatness, but lately the sentimental hogwash surrounding BD's loss of a limb in Iraq has predominated.

However, if you think Doonesbury is rubbish, can you name a current daily strip cartoon which is not rubbish?
Cyanide and Happiness.



The internet has at least one use.
 

St Disibod

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CookieMonster said:
Pidge said:
I hate Doonesbury! :x
God, me too. I thought I was the only one!
What do you mean lads, it's the best analysis of American politics we have. Trudeau deserves his Pulitzer like no man before him- well perhaps we should make an exception for Woodward and Bernstein.

His portrail of a recovering amputee from the Iraq war mixes humour and tragedy in ways only playwrights have managed before:

Some of the gems:











 

joemomma

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St Disibod said:
His portrail of a recovering amputee from the Iraq war mixes humour and tragedy in ways only playwrights have managed before:
Sorry, no, the B.D. stuff is just mawkish rubbish. It's made worse by the fact that two of the main characters (his buddy Ray and his counsellor) are black, so Trudeau feels he has to include at least one "yo" in every line of dialogue he gives them.
 


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