As the upcoming second series of You Couldn’t Make It Up, our comedy news panel show for Newstalk, fast approaches, it got me thinking about its long and treacherous journey thus far. Back on Newstalk for a second 10-week run from January 19th, it's been around the houses just to get this far. As we often describe it, it's the show that refuses to die, such has been its regular resurgences just when we think its pulse is no more.
My luckiest career break may well have been a literal one. It happened 40 years ago this month. I could be a very happy headmaster somewhere now if it hadn't happened. Though I suspect my break really was for the best.
Mistakes, I’ve made a few, but then again, too many not to mention… With apologies to Ol’ Blue Eyes and Paul Anka, I was reminded the other week of one the many both major and minor cock-ups that have littered my media career to date.
Now that all the fuss and excitement has died down I figured I should write a few words about the whole First Dates experience. When I agreed to do it little did I know the impact it would have. Of all the one-off television appearances I’ve done over the years, there’s no doubt it was the one that blew up the most. Mostly due to one simple factor.
Dealing with the musical chairs of changing commissioning faces is part and parcel of being a freelancer pitching ideas in the media. Here in Ireland such cross-network, -station, -site or -publication movement is relatively rare but in bigger media markets it’s so frequent as to be expected. When it happens it has both its pros and cons.
Christmas may well be the season for giving but in the particularly unforgiving media business rejection happens all year round; and the festive season is no exception. Dealing with all this negativity successfully is vital if you want to stay the pace.
Off Message won an Irish Blog Award recently. Get us, huh? I was of course delighted. But now I'm wondering if winning an award like this has any real and measurable impact on one’s career. It's tricky to quantify.
Violence and the news go hand in hand. But given their special relationship, are those arguing violence should be reported less simply wasting their time? Probably, for a handful of rarely acknowledged reasons.
The other day I had the most unexpected – and more than a little frightening – thought: I wondered if coming home was a mistake. I spent 11 years in London, returning to Dublin in 2009 when RTÉ commissioned a TV idea I'd had. It got me thinking about the pros and cons of my return.
Real honesty in the media is a rare thing. I don’t mean in its coverage and output. No, I’m talking about the honesty of those of us lucky enough to work in the business when we're discussing in public the day-to-day workings of our job. And my blogposts to date prove I'm as guilty as anyone else.
When freelancing work dries up (or at least goes eerily quiet for a while) you’re forced to get your pitching mojo back on. Which is where I’m at right now, partially because of Brexit, surprisingly enough. And whatever the outcomes it’s the waiting that kills you.
In media circles, fake news is the hot topic du jour. It’s not a new phenomenon, of course; fake news has long done the rounds in our newspapers, on radio, on television and online. I’ve been thinking about the perhaps unexpected role footballers’ post-match interviews have played in its current surge.
I spent most of November in Maximum Media helping them produce a series of short videos. I’ve read a lot about ‘new media’ changes and their impact on their ‘old media’ cousins over the past decade but seeing one of these ‘new media’ models up close and personal over the past while was an invaluable personal first.
I got a nice black eye Saturday night. Despite taking selfies cataloguing the ever-darkening wound I resisted the temptation to publicly post them. Til now. It got me thinking about how our mainstream media's concentration on violent crime helps propagate an atmosphere of fear.
As I left RTÉ last week at the end of another long run there I was very aware that I hadn’t a gig lined up to go to anywhere else anytime soon. Oddly I wasn't too worried, which as a freelancer is a very weird feeling.
I followed news of the Brussels attacks online on radio and on TV. It was no big deal. I suspect for news providers using all available digital tools it is.
10 years on from Reporters At War winning its Emmy, I remember I hoped it'd help me get to spend some real time in NYC. It didn't. I blame Steven Spielberg...kinda.
Every half-assed chancer in Ireland and their dog has a Father Ted story. And I’m no different. Many years ago yours truly was actually in Ted…well, almost.
When Radio Eireann had a monopoly on Irish airwaves pirate radio was the only realistic outlet for the majority of folk with any broadcasting ambitions. Including yours truly.
Now the taxman has done damage to bank balances it is indeed beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And it's a particularly weird period in TV and radio.
Having to look after all your own tax affairs is just one of the things you have to consider when thinking of becoming a freelancer. Here are the main pros and cons, as far as I can tell.
In this social media era when images of the full impact of war are but a click away should editors still try to protect us from its brutal horrors? I'm not sure.
There’s no doubt High Definition in its ever advancing forms is the universal television viewing future. I’m by no means as confident about 3D…at least not for watching football.
Football and television have long been natural bedfellows. We all remember great World Cup incidents. Why? Because we saw them live, as they happened, along with a massive global audience, on television.
As a freelancer I’m constantly thinking about what makes a successful idea. And in most cases, especially for long running formats, simplicity is the key. If you can’t explain it in a very short paragraph – think of the sentence or two you’d have in TV listings – then the odds are stacked against you.