Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Story of Why (the Irish Times is on its last legs).

Here's a question for you? When was the Irish Times' circulation at its highest? Believe it or not it was in the second half of 2007, after the sub-prime crisis hit the US and all but the most delusional saw that the bottom was falling out of property. In other words the Times was most popular when Ireland was at its most dysfunctional.

Since then the sales of the Times have likewise fallen. People are less interested in Fintan O'Toole's analysis of why Ireland's so utterly corrupt (... and why, oh why can't people be as smart as him and see it all) than they were in the huge property supplements exhorting the faithful to buy now before their badly built, pyrite infested flats/houses were out of their reach. 
When the sales of the "paper of record" dipped below 100,000 a year ago they began to worry and started a campaign to rebrand that culminated in a change in ... format! This was accompanied by a video promoting their new slogan! "The Story of Why." I wonder how much they spent on that? Sounds like something some stoned student came up with in the Trinners common room. 

The new slogan makes me think is why is the Irish Times even asking Why? We all know that they are the answer to a question that most of us never asked and more importantly, don't care about. The highly dubious tactics they used last year when the death of Savita Halappanavar became public knowledge is but one example of how the Irish Times is no longer a newspaper. It is a campaigning paper of opinion, not record. That is why it is dying. On the sensitive issue of abortion they are, and a glance at their archive will reveal they always have been, a campaigning paper that wants abortion in Ireland. A paper that does not consider the humanity of the unborn person, a paper that commodifies
human life.

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