Off Message

Media-curious podcast and blog based on personal experience and coffee-fuelled observation

Podcast 13: Baz Ashmawy – Off Message 60

The thirteenth – lucky for us – Off Message podcast is with Baz Ashmawy, of ’50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy’ fame.

In his central Dublin office he revealed the exact moment he knew a suit-wearing career in recruitment was not for him, the shock of being shut out of RTÉ, how subsequently not getting a radio gig was more than likely a blessing in disguise, knowing when an idea’s time is up, and loads more.

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Collectors’ Items: On The Importance Of Archives – Off Message 59

That once upon a time in the media we didn’t realise the value of archives, of holding onto original programming and editions, never ceases to amaze me.

Of course, as the ongoing fallout from the devastating fire in 2008 at the Universal Music archive warehouse in Hollywood shows, it wasn’t just a media shortcoming and that even now, what we chose to store and how we store it is far from perfect.

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Podcast 12: Lise Hand – Off Message 58

The twelfth media-mad Off Message podcast features political writer, Lise Hand, soon to be ex- of the Times Ireland edition parish.

In Buswells Hotel, across the road from her major work haunt of Leinster House in Dublin, and in many ways over the years her office away from her office, she came clean on the life of the political hack, the impact of social media on the world she covers, the downside of the closure of local newspapers, why the Times Ireland is closing and how she’s dealing with it, and much much more.

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Podcast 11: Seamus Dooley – Off Message 57

For the 11th media-curious Off Message podcast I dropped into the NUJ’s Irish HQ in Dublin to talk all things media with the Irish Secretary of the journalists’ trade union, Seamus Dooley.

We discussed the recent shooting dead of freelancer Lyra McKee in Derry, the lack of genuine media ownership diversity, their ongoing campaigns, fixing trust in journalism, why he thinks all journalists should join the NUJ, and loads more.

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Podcast 10: Philip O’Connor – Off Message 56

On a flying visit to his native Dublin, freelance journalist Philip O’Connor, the man behind his own media blog and podcast, the wonderfully titled Our Man In Stockholm, dropped by for the tenth media-savvy Off Message podcast.

We chewed the fat on his attempt to crowdfund much of his journalism income, how he uses social media to generate work, his often outspoken tone online, his unique and unusual route into journalism, and loads more.

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You Couldn’t Make It Up: Its Long and Winding Road – Off Message 55

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.

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Podcast 9: Peter Feeney – Off Message 54

As the Press Council of Ireland nears the end of its tenth year in operation, Press Ombudsman, Peter Feeney is my guest on the ninth media-savvy Off Message podcast.

Our chat explored the vagaries of dealing with complaints for both online and print publications, his previous lengthy career in RTE making programmes and overseeing their Freedom of Information activity, his love of local newspapers, his predictions for the future of the press and public service broadcasting, and lots more.

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My Luckiest Break? – Off Message 53

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.

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Podcast 8: Ciara Kelly – Off Message 52

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.

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The Errors of My Ways – Off Message 51

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.

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Podcast 7: Nadine O’Regan – Off Message 50

The seventh media-friendly Off Message podcast – Off Message #50 overall…hurrah! – is with Nadine O’Regan, Books and Arts Editor and current (no relation) Off Message columnist with the Sunday Business Post.

During our chat, Nadine discussed how it felt to recently have her long-running Today FM show, Songs In The Key Of Life, rather unceremoniously dropped by the station; her own not insignificant role in the globally successful West Cork podcast; growing up in a household steeped in print journalism; her own very peculiar roundabout route into the business, and much more.

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Podcast 6: Michael O’Keeffe – Off Message 49

The sixth media circus that is the Off Message podcast is with Michael O’Keeffe, CEO at the regulator of all Irish broadcasting – though thankfully not podcasts…not yet, anyway – the BAI, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

During our chat Michael revealed the BAI’s origins in Ireland’s murky pirate radio past and its planned next move into regulating parts of the online media wild west; the type of complaints they regularly get about programmes; where they get their funding and how some would rather not pay up; their wooing of London’s international broadcasters pre-Brexit; the growing Irish appetite for podcasts – *applauds*; their take on diversity and plurality in Ireland’s broadcast media; and more.

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