An expert panel debated ‘the truth behind the news’ at the eighth biennial Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland Michael Dillon event.
The debate was chaired by RTÉ’s Audrey Carville, with the evening’s proceedings hosted by Guild chairman, Ciara Leahy. More than 100 of Ireland’s leading agricultural journalists and communicators, as well as industry figures, were in attendance.
Panellists discussed the conflict between breaking stories first and the need for validating those stories and sources. Experts included: Mark Little, founder of Neva Labs and Storyful; Cian Ó Mongáin, manager, Online Partnerships Group, Google; Eoin Lowry, agribusiness editor, Irish Farmers Journal; and Niamh Kirk, researcher and data analyst, DCU.
Attendees at the event heard that, when it comes to breaking news stories, it appears increasing emphasis is placed on who breaks the story, rather than its validation. Panellists discussed the ethics of journalism and the future media landscape.
“There is a fantastic opportunity for quality journalism to rise again,” said Mr Little. “The business model for news is bankrupt. The future of journalism will look more like Netflix and Spotify, and the good news is that more and more young people are now paying for news directly, and that trend will continue.”
Guild chairman Ms Leahy said the event provides an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues in the industry.
“This year’s memorial in debate form provided insight into the key factors driving news delivery. As a journalist myself, I am encouraged by many of the panellists’ thoughts about what the future holds for journalism,” she said.
The late Michael Dillon was one of Ireland’s foremost agricultural journalists and broadcasters, and a founding member of the Guild in 1961.
Supported by Kerry Group, the Michael Dillon event took place on Friday, November 10, in Dublin’s Marker Hotel.