Slouching Towards Bantry

A journey is a hallucination. -- Flann O'Brien

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

News Agents

Newsstands, which are ubiquitious in Ireland, are called news agents. The reason there are so many is because people read newspapers in Ireland, many newspapers. Now isn't that a novel idea, reading a newpaper? Take your choice: the conservative Irish Independent, aka, the Indo, sister to its English counterpart and owned by Irish millionaire Tony O'Reilly, available in tabloid or broadsheet; or perhaps the more high-brow, snooty Irish Times; or the populist Irish Examiner, formerly the Cork Examiner, a national paper with a decidedly southern perspective; or, one of my favs, Daily Ireland, a republican/nationalist newspaper published in the North, which favors Sinn Fein and swipes the Brits. I could go on but you get the picture. The climate is right for reporters here because there are competing newspapers. The broadcast media, radio and TV literally read the headlines to listeners and viewers because print journalists break the news everyday. It's called a free press, and despite its flaws and profit-driven motiviations, the American versions pales by any comparison.


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