Archive for popular publications

25 years of Flirt FM

Flirt FM merchandise

Last week was the 25th anniversary of the founding of Flirt FM, Galway’s student radio station. I was the founding station manager at the station, and I got to go back on air as part of the celebrations – in the afternoon with my sons (including an interview they completed with my father, about his involvement with RTÉ’s Galway Community Radio project in the 1970s/1980s), and later with media analysts/scholars Paul Riismandel and John Anderson, where we explored the role of alternative media in covering protest.

Then this week I was part of a discussion on Paul’s radio show/podcast, Radio Survivor, where (along with current Flirt FM station manager Paula Healy, and co-hosts Jennifer Waits and Eric Klein). Lots of fun, and some serious discussions too.

Online panel on community radio in the UK and Ireland

The poster advertising the event

I got to co-moderate a panel on community radio in the UK and Ireland this week, with my colleague Salvatore Scifo from Bournemouth University. The panel was organised by Prof Vinod Pavarala, UNESCO Chair in Community Media at the University of Hyderabad, as part of their Global Dialogues series. The video is now available for on-demand viewing.

Funding children’s television

I have a letter in today’s Irish Times tying together a recent controversy regarding children’s television at RTÉ with broader concerns about funding our national broadcaster.

Regulation of social media advertising

The Irish Times has published my letter on the need for regulation of social media advertising:

A chara, – Chris Connolly is, in a narrow, legalistic, sense correct when he lists regulation of social media advertising as a “risk” for sponsors (Business, January 16th, Business). The most striking lesson from his piece, however, is the great risk, at the societal level, if we do not have such regulations.

The tips Connolly provides for advertising done “right” – subtlety, avoiding “blatant” or “contrived” sales pitches – make it clear that what is envisaged is advertising that is not clearly identified as such, surreptitiously furthering the interests of sponsors and sports figures, at the expense of unsuspecting marks.

In broadcasting, we have particular concerns about advertising aimed at children because young children are unable to clearly distinguish between advertising and other content, because parents are not able to effectively moderate children’s viewing on a sufficiently granular basis, and because television, in particular, is seen as persuasive by virtue of the relationships children build with the characters they view. All these concerns also apply to social media. Given the focus in Chris Connolly’s piece on sports figures, who are so often held up as role models for children, standards that protect young fans seem appropriate.

More generally, a lack of transparency by sports figures about their connections to products and services they promote seems sleazy and unethical. Surely we can expect better? – Is mise,



Assistant Professor of

Communication Studies,

Division of Humanities

Natural Sciences,

Cazenovia College,

Sullivan Street,

Cazenovia, New York, US.