home Editorial Print Media – Dangerously out of touch – Editorial by Rob O’Sullivan

Print Media – Dangerously out of touch – Editorial by Rob O’Sullivan

An odd headline for an editorial in a print publication? A bit, yeah.

(Online Editor’s Note: An odd headline for a print publication but not so much for its website, eh?)

About two weeks ago, the Irish Times published an article by Nicholas Pell discussing the alt-right movement, giving a glossary of terms typically found on Twitter. Regardless of your opinion on the alt-right, or as some would call them, neo-nazis, the publishing of the article highlights that the Irish Times have failed to find a way to adequately respond to the slow-creeping death of journalism.

The newspaper of record has failed to catch up with what some would see as the future of journalism: bite-sized globules of information shrouded in glitz, glam and attention-grabbing headlines. In the past, when publications like The Sun utilised tactics like this, all the broadsheets had to do was stand steady and stick to its guns, knowing that while a front page that reads “THE TRUTH” in big bold blood-stained letters may sell more copies initially, people would come back to them eventually to find out the real news, to find the facts. In today’s ‘digital world’, however, the Times has failed to adjust itself to the online platform, and being unable to use headlines like the aforementioned Sun, or new outfits like Buzzfeed or Breitbart, the Times has opted to use the same tactic as that ‘edgy’ friend we all have on Facebook: putting something ‘controversial’ out there, seldomly with no more comment than “thoughts?”

This article shows that the Times have moved beyond the bottom of the barrell, and are currently about halfway scraped their way to China. The article by Pell, presented essentially as fact, couldn’t have seen much scrutiny by the editorial team, as some of the definitions were just wrong. Pell described a “snowflake” as “a person with an unusual, potentially dubious, gender identity.” Not only is this a totally offensive, transphobic comment, but it’s wholly wrong, no matter what your outlook. For the paper of record to let something like this slide, is unacceptable. If you’re going to print neo-nazi propaganda, at least do a fact-check first.