Guide to Irish Media for Foreign Observers of Irish Vote

2 10 2009

If you are going to rely on Irish media outlets, it would be useful to know their political color before accepting what they say with blind faith. So, here’s a quick tour:

RTE, Radio Telefis Eireann: public broadcaster. Like BBC but has advert funding alongside viewing tax (license). Nominally neutral but ideologically closest to Labour Party in practice. Unrelentingly hostile to current Irish Government.

Irish Times: Prestige paper of record, like New York Times. Nominally “liberal” – actually leftist in ideological orientation. Somewhat like Guardian in UK, which it copies. However, on EU, militantly pro-Lisbon and very hostile to most vocal anti-Communists and new conservatives in Eastern Europe.

Irish Independent: conservative on economics or law and order, liberal, though not radical, on social poilicy. Pro-Lisbon but offers more space to critics than Irish Times. Hostile to Fianna Fail, more sympathetic to Fine Gael. Style is less elitist than Irish Times, slightly tabloid.

Irish Examiner: nominally representative of a different voice from Cork and the South. In practice, apes values and concerns of the Irish Times. Liberal/left.

Newstalk: Some very professional broadcasting here, esp. by Claire Byrne in morning. But many presenters are either RTE or Irish Times old hands. Result: Newstalk is less politically diverse than it could have been.