Welcome to the Media Desk, a space for highlighting and discussing trends in the modern news media. Run by the Media Editor (a freelance journalist, academic and media analyst) the aim of the blog is to create a space for critical analysis of the Media and in particular the Irish media.
The inspiration for this blog come from the idea that the media, as of one if the most important institutions in society should be reported on in the same way as government and the judiciary. Media desks are a common features in newsrooms in the USA and UK, journalists such as David Carr, Roy Greenslade, Nick Davies are regulars on the media beat. In these media environment there have been overt and conscience efforts to open-up windows into the news production process. The idea being that the audience deserves to know about it and in doing so foster more trust in their journalism.
Meta-media coverage has made some headway in Ireland. The media show on RTE radio 1 and the national press regularly carry stories on the media events and occasional Op-Eds when an issue becomes salient. But there is no dedicated desk and that is where this blog comes in.
The recently publish Digital News Report Ireland 2015 showed that trust in the Irish media was low, only 46% trust it in general. How to tackle this became one of the key discussions around the report. The good work of Irish journalists is largely redundant if the majority do not trust what they are getting.
One of the ways to overcome this and improve in the Irish news media for the Irish audience I believe is to open up knowledge and debate about it. The media desk wants to create a space where the new trends, successes and failures of journalism can be measured and discussed in a nuanced and informed way.
Even in this post News of the World environment, Irish journalists openly express their reluctance to critically engage other writers or publications, although RTE as a PSB is exempt from this. The media desks asks, why not?
The driving philosophy of this blog is rooted in fourth estate values taking the position that media, particularly news media deserves as much scrutiny and critical inspection as any other national, governmental, judicial or economic institutions.
We live in a mass mediated world and it has never been more important to evaluate to how we are being informed. While journalism holds authority to account, it often fails to consider itself as part of the institutions that demand the same scrutiny. From the organisations to the impact of content, journalism can be as newsworthy as the news it covers.
The interest in the Leveson Inquiry in the UK I consider to be evidence of the on-going appetite for coverage of news makers. This blog aims to foster informed and focused debate about the state of the modern media. The media desk will operate as any desk would in a newsroom would, providing news, views, reviews and even some light-hearted laughs. Highlighting the good, bad and ugly in the news media.
I hope that you enjoy and find this experiment in journalism covering journalism useful.
The Media Editor.