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.
Just a year into her most high-profile radio job to date, the eighth media-curious Off Message podcast features Newstalk's Lunchtime Live presenter Ciara Kelly. During our 50-odd minute chat we chewed the media fat on debating extremists, social media bullying and detoxing, developing a media career without having to hustle, taking over a big show after an equally big controversy, and loads more.
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.
The debut Off Message podcast, featuring the media-related wit and wisdom of RTÉ 2fm's music-and-movie-mad Dave Fanning. Over the course of our chat Dave reminisces about his almost completely accidental career journey; how his RTÉ career hasn't exactly gone to plan; whether he'd ever ask U2 the hard questions; his unconventional advice for succeeding in the media world, and at a typical Fanning rate of knots, of course much, much more.
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.
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.
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.
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.