Local News Values?

I actually bought The Guardian yesterday. The first newspaper I have bought since the Leveson Report was published prior to Christmas. Actually it was far too soon to get any kind of real “behind the headlines” analysis of the Papal Election. Late last night, I was in our local village shop and bought our two “Belfast” morning dailies.

Francis Pic

This is how The Irish News and News Letter chose to report a major international story. The Irish News led with a colour photograph of Pope Francis, while the News Letter relegated the story to Page 5.

Of course The Irish News is read by Catholics/nationalists and The News Letter is read by Protestants/unionists. Of course editors make decisions…occasionally if not always influenced by the target audience.

But it seems that these newspapers are useful props to have next time I go to Texas or wherever to explain our version of Conflict Resolution. Clearly we live in parallel universes. Seperate but Equal?

Next time some letsgetalongerist discussion board pontificates (no pun intended) on bringing down the walls at Bombay Street or Cluan Place, they should be reminded of these invisible and more potent barriers.

The only question is whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. Certainly I would be disappointed to see a British “Royal” Wedding or Funeral on the front page of the Irish News.

It is how we are. Local Journalism is….peerless.

About three weeks ago, I was in Belfast and as I was going into a newsagent, I was offered a copy of The News Letter…usual price but seemingly the money would go to a local childrens charity. I declined. I will not be morally blackmailed into buying a sectarian rag.

A certain irony of course that I bought it last night to showcase its…..news values.

I wonder if any of the News Letter journalists are respected in the wider freemasonry of Journalism and how many would merit a glowing obituary on Slugger O’Toole.

Dont fall for fancy new narratives about a “new” Norn Iron. Its all fantasy. These newspapers represent reality.

 

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5 Responses to Local News Values?

  1. Zac Davis says:

    In our discussions of news values in my J-classes, we always take into a ccount our readership. While I personally would not relegate the news of a new Pope to page five (I’m not even Roman Catholic), I can see why the editors of News Letter chose to do so if your analysis of their readership is correct.

    If they really are a bunch of non-catholics, they will be virtuall apethetic to the story, so putting it on the front page would be a waste.

    • Certainly a legitimate point.
      But in the Norn Iron situation we are SUPPOSED (that’s the prevailing narrative) to be signed up to a shared future and a shared society.
      We are given a diet of Bread and Circus….MTV Award Shows, Titanic, a Decade of Centenaries, Rory McIlroy, G8 Summit etc….plus all kinds a Conflict Resolutionists getting massive amounts of money to PRETEND that we have turned our back on the Old Ways.
      As these newspapers show…there just isn’t the commitment to a shared future.
      I’m not saying it’s good or bad….merely that the Great and the Good in our Society are engaged in a massive con trick.

      • Yes I saw that.
        But you’re deliberately missing the point that this was an international news story of historic proportions that a unionist newspaper ignored and marginalised as they played to their bigoted gallery.

  2. Funny how things come back – Mr Paddy Close – one of the best teachers a boy could wish for – used the Irish News and the News Letter (AKA Fury Letter) to teach us in his english class at Garron Tower, (St MacNissis). Two papers, same day, same event, diferent story. Made the point quite well. Great school, great teacher.

    The difference worth noting between then and now is 35 years. Nothing else.

  3. Not at all – I did get it – just indulging in my memory lane walking.

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