Yesterday RTE pulled out all the stops to give Darragh, Suzy, Alan, John, myself and Tommy a tour of RTE’s Newsroom. Bryan Dobson is dead on too. We got a quick tour of the newsroom where Carolyn introduced us to the many people that work to inform the millions of Irish people about what’s going on in Ireland and around the world. We got to briefly chat with Bryan Dobson and others. I think he’s now subbed to Tommy’s blog. We then went to the gallery or whatever it’s called where the magic happens for the news on RTE television. There we saw the prep for the 1pm news and they showed us how they line up the stories, images and graphics for each news bulletin. From there we went into the news studio and watched the prep from there before the 1pm news.
Then we left them get on with the news. The Morning Ireland studio is adjacent to news studio and we got a look at that too. Morning Ireland are on Twitter too:
And then we looked into the studio that does the Late Late (Rumour is Ryan will get the gig but Tommy will take over the TT show, makes sense) and Tubridy tonight, this is the view from above, a hell of a lot of lights eh?:
After a brief break at the infamous RTE canteen we then headed over to where the Primetime team work and met Mark Little and other team members for a good chat about news and current affairs and the views of the bloggers and Twitter folks on what they’d like to see RTE do online. They seemed very interested in the liveblogging and Twitter feedback.
There’s a lot of talk about the licence fee anytime RTE does something people don’t like but when you see how the (Update: Clarifying that I mean RTE news) News organisation works and what they provide to the public in a efficient manner maybe you’ll consider the idea that they’re value for money.
Oh and on leaving I saw Larry Gogan. Half the visiting party never heard of him. Feeling old…
I heard that Darragh Doyle was getting the Late Late gig.
Who doesn’t know Larry Gogan? I’ve met him before…
Was it while I was getting my wig on?
How did all this come about?
RTE were asked could we get a tour. They said yes.
Nice one Damien!
Bryan Dobson seems a real gentleman. On the news, he makes very good eye contact with interviewees as he thanks them, even – or especially – if he has just given them a bit of a grilling! He is Don Cockburn’s true heir. (Do many of the visiting party remember Don Cockburn?)
heh, add a moustache to Dobson and he looks like an old time newspaper editor with his belly and his braces.
“Where’s Peter Parker? Who’s gonna get me a picture of Spiderman?!”
I like Dobson, I hope he gets the Late Late gig, but RTE – value for money? Come off it…
That sounded like a great day.
Oh by the way…how can anyone not know who Larry Gogan is….the man is a legend.
all I can say is ‘Snazzy suspenders Brian’… seriously, they rock!
Will you ever fuck off.
“anytime RTE does something people don’t like but when you see how the organisation works and what they provide to the public in a efficient manner maybe you’ll consider the idea that they’re value for money.”
No, they’re not. The last figure we have for Dobson’s salary is €193,610 (http://www.politics.ie/media/41438-committee-urges-rte-presenters-take-pay-cut-2.html).
And coming after #picturegate, this kind of obsequious crawling over these fucktards – especially from you – is all the disgsusting.
Of course, when you’re being paid by RTE to appear on their shows – such as the Marian Finucance show today- what should we expect?
I’d better you’re out there looking for other positions from them too.
@allancavanagh, I notice you didn’t state the bloody obvious here either.
We’ll remember this post.
Damien, wipe your brown nose…..
[…] I was delighted to see national broadcaster RTÉ this week bring prominent Irish bloggers Damien, Darragh, Suzy, Alan, John and Tommy in to meet staff in their news and current affairs […]
Barry: How’s that rock where you and the other devout Green’s are hiding? Oh an how goes that work on campaigning for broadband? You seem to put a lot of effort into caring what I think on so many matters, shame you can’t do anything constructive with that energy.
Anonymous Coward: Bit of a dumb cunt aren’t you? But then you do come from Politics.ie
I read blogs ‘cos I am interested in other people’s opinions, so I don’t go around just spouting my own.
The two of us who had the timerity to question your opinions got the usual treatment, abuse. If you dont like the reactions, turn off the comments.
OTOH, I think your appearances on RTE are generally good. I didn’t hear the Finucane one but the Morning I one on Googles latest intereference with our lives was quite intelligent.
BTW, why do the IoffL people hae such a low opinion of you?
Good old passive aggressive Barry. IoffL people don’t like me? That’s a very cowardly (but expected) statement from you.
Look, I can pee higher!
Looks like a cool day!
I’m glad they were open and accommodating, especially with our young bucks Tommy and Alan around! 🙂
When I look at the content RTE commission, produce and buy in, they are not value for money, Damo… If anything, they should be returning a surplus to the exchequer from here on in and they can lose Gerry Ryan and the Plank for starters…
A fair point TUG (woah, I’m agreeing with TUG), they should be sending in a surplus to the taxman, there’s huge potential for making money from their content if they had the vision to do that. I think most of the salaries for the personalities in there are actually ok if they get the ratings that get th revenue though the Gerry Ryans and Pat Kennys still get far too much. I wonder what the % of the annual budget goes to paying the presenters on TV and Radio?
Brilliant PR exercise by RTE.
“There’s a lot of talk about the licence fee anytime RTE does something people don’t like but when you see how the organisation works and what they provide to the public in a efficient manner maybe you’ll consider the idea that they’re value for money.”
Dude, come on. RTE – while occassionally providing a great public service in the news and current affairs department (when they’re not on the phone to GIS), and now and then making some good programming purchases – is by and large completely overstaffed and inefficient. And I say this as someone who has worked for them on and off as a contributor.
There’s definitely something to be written on the relationship between PR machines and bloggers, which if I still had a blog I would probably write myself as it’s a complex and growing relationship, as this post, and a few others around the place (generally about RTE too) displays.
I’m not saying that criticism or cynicism should be the immediate or initial reaction to this kind of stuff, because there is room for an honest two-way relationship between PR and bloggers, but I must say, I’m quite surprised that someone like yourself who has a high bullshit radar etc can actually be won over by a school tour.
Oh, and I don’t mean to single Damien out regarding this, it’s something I’ve been thinking of for quite some time, but I just thought this was a particularly soft post. When I blogged, I felt pretty conflicted at times when juggling the PR relationships, or being asked to post stuff etc.
I think bloggers are just far softer targets for PR stuff because as a journalist you’re used to telling people to fuck off who ask you to do stuff, or just ignore them, while I think bloggers feel a bit special or something when they’re asked to engage because they traditionally feel like media outsiders.
I think for those (and other) reasons, bloggers are much more easy to manipulate for whatever uses PR heads happen to come up with.
A while ago on this blog, Damien, you were practically calling for the proverbial head of RTE as #picturegate began to kick off, no? Do you feel in any way conflicted with the way you were handled by PR heads during this process? By ‘Carolyn’, I presume you mean Caroyln Fisher. Why do you think RTE invited a bunch of bloggers to come and visit? How do you think it benefits you, and how do you think it benefits them? And perhaps most importantly (or maybe least, I don’t know!), how do you think it benefits those who visit your blog?
edit: I’ve just read back through the comments and see that RTE didn’t invite, they were asked, so my bad on that one!
Una: I requested the tour of RTE and the meeting with Mark Little and team, it was not an RTE PR Exercise. You could call it a blogger PR exercise though because RTE is going to change more from this visit than the bloggers but that’s for another day and another post.
I still think RTE is good value for money but I should have said it was RTE’s News section not RTE as a whole.
I guess too I have more trust in bloggers when it comes to PR people “manipulating” them. I think bloggers by their nature are more cynical and to be honest less bent than journalists and I think there can be trusting relationships built up between them, thus why I run the Collison Course events.
Yo, I see what you mean about it being a blogger exercise rather than an RTE exercise, but still, because you were handled well by their PR people, you’re obviously going to think differently of them, regardless of who initiated the communication.
RE: “I guess too I have more trust in bloggers when it comes to PR people “manipulating” them. I think bloggers by their nature are more cynical and to be honest less bent than journalists and I think there can be trusting relationships built up between them, thus why I run the Collison Course events.”
I do think that bloggers are probably more cynical, but I also think there is a different kind of risk with regards to forming relationships with PR people which in my opinion comes from the ‘othering’ which bloggers are guilty of themselves.
By permanently painting themselves simultaneously as the underdog or outsider in media terms and also as one-up form on traditional media bloggers inhabit a sort of strange identity between being outside of the mainstream, and also, perhaps in their own minds ‘better’ or more forward-thinking that the mainstream.
I think that because bloggers aren’t used to the rather rambunctious relationship that journalists experience with PR people, there is a politeness and niceness there that you don’t really find in mainstream media. I think then when PR people are nice to bloggers, or give them info, or a trip, or whatever, bloggers might feel privileged or something and then tend to go soft on the target behind the PR, whereas journalists are used to the methodology behind PR stuff and I think tend to be less influenced by it.
Of course, there are far more journos who take loads of free stuff, live in the pockets of PR people etc than there are bloggers. But standards like that are shocking in Irish journalism. I’m just pointing out the difference in the dynamic of a relationship between PR and bloggers and how this relationship is developing quite a bit since PR heads have copped on that they can use and manipulate bloggers quite successfully to their advantage and offer very little in return.
Maybe you’re projecting and transposing your own experience Una as opposed to what the collective might actually live…
I think there’s an inherent inverted snobbery in the idea that journalists are somehow more attuned to reading intentions of PR people and that bloggers are likely to be distracted by the shiny thing…
I can tell ya, journalism and consultancy are by their very nature purloined in the most part and probably bloggers will head there too, the majority have their price…
The inevitable corruption of media, social or otherwise, is an age old story…
“The inevitable corruption of media, social or otherwise, is an age old story…” – I guess that’s true. But the thing is, blogging projects itself as honest and democratic and in some ways subversive etc, when the reality is it’s far easier to manipulate an individual with responsibility only to themselves and their blog than it is someone who knows if they are manipulated, their company (newspaper, radio station, editor, what have you) will lay the smack down.
How easily people forget that bloggers are open to immense public criticism by their peers if they DO get manipulated by shiny things.
Unlike journalists, of course.
Of course journalists are manipulated by ‘shiny things’!
Blogging often positions itself as an antidote to that culture.
You read me wrong… my point is, that when a blogger DOES become manipulated they are open to immense public criticism and other bloggers aren’t afraid to question if a fellow blogger has been manipulated by a company/organization… e.g. this post as example.
It is for this very reason, I would argue, that bloggers are LESS inclined to be manipulated and why they are more cynical, they are protecting their reputation by doing so.
“other bloggers aren’t afraid to question if a fellow blogger has been manipulated by a company/organization…” – yeah yeah yeah, I totally get that.
I think bloggers are still more likely to be manipulated because generally a journalist’s first impression at being approached in a PR-y kind of way is “fuck off” or “I’ll take what you’re giving me but nothing for you in return” (aka, free stuff) or will only cover something they were going to / would cover anyway in spite of PR influence.
I don’t think bloggers are as familiar with that climate, so in general the first thing they do is listen.
PR is so integrated with journalism in some newspapers or outlets that lines bleed all over the place. People should be harder on bloggers when they are influenced because bloggers project themselves as the antithesis to the old school / presumed corrupt climate of traditional media.
I know that sounds sort of odd, but it’s kind of like if Man Utd let in five goals in a match against Chesterfield, it’s a bigger story than Chesterfield letting in five against Utd.
Woah! Who says?
“People should be harder on bloggers when they are influenced because bloggers project themselves as the antithesis to the old school / presumed corrupt climate of traditional media.”
Double standard tastic, is there some sort of code of blogging that someone must sign up to before invading the web? Maybe this is why I never signed up to any Irish aggregator! I knew there was something fishy!!!
I think Una, you picked me up slightly differently than I intended earlier, I was suggesting the media organs for which journalists write are the ones that tend to do the influencing of content, maybe it’s because I watched The Insider last night or the whole myhome / Richard Delevan debacle is fresh and pertinent to my mind.
Believe me, no one sniffs out a vested interest like the people at thepropertypin! Mind you, we’ve been accused of being VIs ourselves…
Sometimes by bloggers! Bastids!!! 😉
Maybe I’m more cynical than even you. One does call bullshit where they see it, but other times it’s so evident that other people love eating it, so what’s the point? In the end, the truth will out – be by the blogger or by their peers. Karma always delivers.
“Double standard tastic” – nah, in general I just tend to be harder on people whom I expect more from when they fuck up.
The Saturdays release a terrible album – expected
Girls Aloud release a terrible album – devastation
I don’t expect anything from people I haven’t met!
I start ’em all off at “contempt” and they work their way up from there…
“I don’t expect anything from people I haven’t met!” – really? That’s weird. Not from journalists you like, or your favourite artist, or a blog you trust, or… or Bruce Springsteen?
Hi Una, Hi Damien. Carolyn from RTÉ here. Just to say that the visit, as Damien says, was the result of a request from a group of interested bloggers to us, not the other way round. It was not a PR stunt. I learnt a lot more from them than they did from me and I really appreciated their helpfulness and patience as I asked really basic questions about the bloggersphere because it’s vital for RTÉ to learn about and engage with new media and some of us are only just starting to do so.
And for the record, I’m a journalist who now looks after Press and Publicity for RTÉ News and Current Affairs. I’m a member of the NUJ and have never been a PR person.
Hey Carolyn, hope you a well – yeah, Damien put me right on the fact that it was a requested visit, not the other way around, and not a PR stunt from RTE’s end of things. It has basically opened up a pretty interesting discussion about the relationship between PR/Press and Publicity and bloggers though – certainly not just about this situation, but a far bigger picture thing which is ongoing on Twitter at the moment.
I think it’s great that RTE are engaging with bloggers/new media. From my viewpoint, it’s the result of such engagement in the blogosphere that interests me. How do bloggers who traditionally might be quite cynical towards an organisation/band/company or whatever subsequently deal with that organisation/band/company when they have encountered them firsthand and not from a distance?
In relation to this post, Damien and the rest of the guys seemed to have a great experience in RTE, and that experience will now probably colour their expressions towards the station. And because their experience was so good, it’s good PR for RTE, as that experience will subsequently be blogged about from a firsthand basis, which other members of the blogosphere and general blog readers will then read and digest.
Most of the time RE: the whole PR-blogger interaction thing, it’s PR companies or people asking bloggers for certain things, this has kind of oddly been instigated from the other way around, but nevertheless, the result is still pretty favourable!
(typo there at the top – it’s “hope you ARE well”)
Thanks, Una! This is my first comment on a blog post so delighted that I’ve taken the plunge and I really appreciate your comments.
Excellent! Look forward to reading your future comments!
I was using met in terms of what you had previously posted, so let’s say, first meeting for a blog is the first post, or for an artist first listen…
For example, I’ve never heard of The Saturdays (for a second, I confused them with Those Dancing Days) so they start at contempt!
Hi Carolyn, welcome to the interwebs! But this statement is seriously scary!
“I asked really basic questions about the bloggersphere because it’s vital for RTÉ to learn about and engage with new media and some of us are only just starting to do so.”
A brave new world indeed! I mean look at weddingsonline, pistonheads, all the specialist web forums out there, how much of offline Ireland actually exists today!?!
And to think, the majority might be lurking in RTE… Perhaps, it’s a case of a paradigm shift and the bastions of the previous order really are asleep until the barbarians are at the gate…
I was kinda hoping that stupid Ian Dempsey tagline on his recent ad…
“We’re first with the news, ‘cos we’re getting it fresh off the internet…”
… had serious self irony about it… But maybe not!!! He’s Today FM or something I know…
Tommy Who? will take over the saturday show
Dobson is the man, he has a distinctive Irish newsreading voice