Resizing The Irish Times – survey results

A while ago I asked people to fill in a survey on what they think of resizing The Irish Times,  and said I would publish the results….

It was a smaller part of my final project for a BA in Journalism at DCU. As I knew before, I can’t publish my mock-ups for copyright reasons (don’t have permission from the paper, photographers etc) and I’ll hold off from publishing my report until it’s graded.

The survey was conducted using The link to the survey was spread by using, a number of twitter accounts, on a few Facebook accounts, and it was emailed to a limited number of people.

There were 165 respondents. put the total who completed the survey at 128  (77.6%), but if you exclude the two open-ended questions at the end, 151 completed the main questions. Here’s the results:

Response summary

Response summary with open ended answers
Webpage or PDF

Response by main age brackets*

* = other age brackets were of small numbers, see age brackets in main results – covering local Dublin news

Niall Farrell, Niall O’Connor, and myself have set up a project called

It’s going to be covering news in Dublin city from local angle (so, it’s not a national publication also covering local stories, or a local publication pretending to be a national paper). We will have stories only people from certain areas will be interested in, but that’s the nature of the publication.

We have the website designed to grow with the content: A slightly larger home page and new sections are on their way as content builds up.

It’s an ambitious project, and hopefully it’ll also be a successful one.

Lecturer finds way to ‘silence’ World Cup vuvuzela

PHOTO: Dundas Football Club, Some Rights Reserved

On how to silence the noise from vuvuzelas at the World Cup in South Africa, this press release came from DCU today.

Interestingly it notes after method two that “This could be done by broadcasters”, so now there’s no excuse for the likes of RTE to claim they can’t do anything?…

So you’ve started watching the World Cup in South Africa, you’re enjoying the games, but the thing that’s spoiling it for many are those vuvuzelas. Until FIFA gets around to banning them, there is another way of reducing the sound on your television.  Dr Sean Marlow, lecturer in DCU’s School of Engineering, tells us how.

Continue reading “Lecturer finds way to ‘silence’ World Cup vuvuzela”

Happy National Helmet Week!

Make sure you wear your cycling and motoring helmet this week as it’s National Helmet Week in Ireland.

The Department of Transport and others have gotten together this week to promote helmet use, mainly aimed at cyclists. The department has spent money advertising the use of helmets at bus shelters, in a supplement in the Irish Independent newspaper and elsewhere. You can even download the posters (as above) your self on the Helmet Week website’s poster page.

But, with political correctness gone mad and that diversity nonsense, at least one anti-helmet event is somehow being run under the banner of National Helmet Week. Dublin City Council have asked that dangerous Cycle Chic promoter, Mikael Colville-Andersen, to come to Dublin.  

This reckless Cycle Chic stuff has already made its way into a few national newspapers. However, we’re assured that the model pictured in these newspapers to promote the so-called Cycle Chic event only cycled without a helmet with an ambulance and a team of brain surgeons standing by. Everybody is warned not to try this at home, and don’t even think about trying it in public.

Cycling is dangerous. It’s very dangerous to cycle without a helmet or high-vis, says the Road Safety Authority. The authority adds that high-viz should be worn at all times even when it’s really sunny. Because cycling is dangerous. Actually, if everybody would be nice enough to stop cycling, the Road Safety Authority would be happy as then there would be no cycling deaths on the roads.

Journalism courses — a few questions

The issue is an ongoing one discussed on’s News / Media forum (the long list is below), and two years ago Shane Hegarty also blogged at on journalism courses and standards.

Here’s a few questions I’m interested getting answers to:

  • Are courses worth it?
  • Are journalism degrees and diplomas respected in the industry?
  • Which ones are most respected? How has this changed over time?
  • What do the courses teach? What do the courses not teach?
  • Why do so many journalism graduates leave college without knowing how to freelance?
  • How many graduates in journalism and related courses are there each year compared to journalism jobs?
  • How many graduates end up working in other sectors?
  • Are you better off studying journalism or another subject to get wider experience?
  • If experience is everything, for print, is going to TCD or UCD — which have more student publications — better then going to DCU?
  • Is there a cycle of students or recent graduates working too long without getting paid?
  • What’s the best route into journalism?
  • Do students / gratuities have a realistic picture of journalism?

I’m planning to compile questions or a survey around the above questions, as well as look into this in other ways. But first to leave time to tease this out a bit more:

  • Are there other questions to to add to this?
  • Who should be consulted? (Students, gratitudes, lecturers, journalists, editors?)
  • What other means are there in exploring this issue?
  • Has anybody else wrote about this in Ireland or elsewhere?
  • Is there anything I’m missing or wrongly including?

The threads on discussing this in full or in part include: The Circular, 2004; Views on Journalism course options, 2005; Getting into the media, 2005; Best way into Journalism, 2005; Views on Journalism course options, 2005; Thinking of doing a Journalism Course – Read this, 2005; Rags, 2007; Investigative journalism training, 2007; Advice for getting into journalism, 2008, What to do with my Journalism Degree? , 2008; National diploma in arts in journalism, 2008; Freelance journalism, 2008; Some advice, 2009; Working freelance, 2008; Journalism advice anyone?, 2009; DBS Journo course, 2009; Starting in journalism/freelance experience?, 2010.

A lecturer at DCU says students should make the most of their time at college to read as much as they can, because they’ll never have so much time to do so again. My twist on that is journalism students should also research subjects they’re interested in, as they’ll never be given so much time to do so again.

Recent updates

As I seem to be using Twitter for many links I would usually put on this blog, here’s some of the recent Twitter updates from @cianginty:

  • ‘Taoiseach in High Court challenge to release Cabinet CO2 document’… …Getting a look at the minutes of Cabinet discussions on Ireland’s emissions would be interisting to say the least
  • UK universities told to cutting emissions 50% by 2020 against 1990 levels, and 80% by 2050 > Will the same happen here?
  • ‘2 million Irish voters vs 100 million’, French Euro minister is quoted as saying by France24. Does he remember how the French people voted?
  • Does anybody know why existing customer are unable to buy iPhones from 02’s website?
  • LINK FAIL: Electric Picnic newsletter with no link to the website or where one could buy tickets.
Rent at the Clubs & Socs Awards 2008, DCU

DCU Drama Socity’s version of Rent at the Olympia

Rent at the Clubs & Socs Awards 2008, DCU

DCU Drama Society’s version of Rent at the Olympia — which is due to close tonight (Saturday) — is getting rave reviews from the media and bloggers. Here’s links to reviews and other coverage: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Congrats to all involved.

I don’t know much about musicals, but I like what Damien Mulley says:

“Not bad for DCU students” is a bit patronising for what is one of the best musicals I’ve seen.

Too many people — both students and others — think that standards should be lower for students. Fine if one fails, but if one aspires or expects lower standards it’s not good start. Not thinking like this, I guess, is one of the reasons the people in DCU Drama Soc excelled with Rent.

Story telling with a difference

From over the weekend, some story telling with a diffrence:

David OReilly’s animation short ‘Please Say Something’ (via Graham Linehan). Described a “A troubled relationship between a Cat and Mouse set in the distant Future. Winner of the Golden Bear for best short film at the 2009 Berlinale”.

The other — and I’m not sure which is the strangest — was ‘My Milk Toof’ (via The story of two teeth-looking creatures told using photographs and text on a Blogspot blog.