The propaganda wars are hard to keep up with in a world where people consume media faster than a packet of bacon fries after a county final, with little thought for its nutritional value.
All the news we see ends up in a blender and sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake.
For example the media reported we have a homeless crisis, the government said homeless levels are normal on average with other developed countries, then Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said homelessness is a national emergency, then Social Justice Ireland announced figures to show almost 800,000 people living in poverty in Ireland. Then nothing happened. Nothing happened because people heard that this is normal, despite what any rational person would conclude if they took a minute to think about it. If there was a trial on whether homelessness was an emergency crisis in Ireland the Judge would ask the jury to dismiss the government’s comments on what was ‘normal’ and to focus on the facts.
This of course is just one example, the government has also spun stories on the Hospital Crisis, the Maurice McCabe Controversy, the Jobstown Trial, Apple Tax Evasion, Shell to Sea Campaign, Irish Water, and many more.
What we need to do to wrap our heads around all this is to regularly remember good journalism, so why not have some Real News Awards, I hope to make this a regular feature on the site this year, posting three at a time, if you’ve any suggestions please leave comment or pop me a DM. These are all articles from January focusing on housing:
To kick things off the first award goes to @Ocionnaith for his story ‘Homelessness Now A National Emergency’
The second award of the year goes to @sarahburnss_ for her report in the Times ‘Almost 800,000 Live in Poverty’
The third award goes to @Nick468official for his insights on Project Opera which revealed the Department of Environment gave Limerick City Council €12.5m in 2011 for social housing under Regeneration, but instead it was used to purchase ‘Opera Site’ providing ZERO housing units.
Unfortunately there are no cash prizes for making the list guys but think of the award as pat on the back from your step Dad.