Sunday Tribune to cover current affairs (if space permits)

The Sunday Tribune has undertaken an interesting new advertising campaign in Dublin (and possibly elsewhere) which promotes the well known weekly offerings of “Ross O’Carroll-Kelly“, a fictional snob who says things like ‘Roysh’.

For a publication that once carried a reputation for investigative journalism this is an odd twist, has it really nothing extra to offer the Irish reader than a word-based comicstrip? The Sunday newspaper market has always been a competitive one, and the introduction of publications such as The Ireland on Sunday a few years ago has led to many publishers moving towards the Lowest Common Denominator; much like what has happened since the “Irish” Daily Mail made its way to the newstands some months ago, but relying on a joke column to draw in the masses is a confusing take on the challenge.
Surely a newspaper with its eye on the ball would see a greater opening in the hard-news audience now that some papers have departed for more celebrity-centric pastures. Perhaps the Tribune is, with the help of its second-cousin The Sunday Independent, trying to flank the opposition; one swinging in from the right with a high-brow snobbery and inbred hatred for Republicanism and the other from the left with a finger raised to the southside stereotype and a warm, young and funky image.
Either way it is somewhat of an insult for their news and feature team (or any of their staff that deal with facts over fiction for that matter) when a tired joke is the only great white hope for the executives at Tribune HQ.

9 Comments

  1. Will this appear in your SB Post column next week?

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  2. Administrator 29/05/2006 at 11:35

    If they commission me I’d be more than happy to re-write it for the paper!
    In other words… no.

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  3. It’s isn’t trying to attract readers with Ross O’Carroll Kelly, they’re coming in their droves to read it, with or without the advertising.

    The editor openly admitted a while ago that the main reason poeple buy the Tribune is Ross O’Carroll Kelly, which I found surprising at the time, but at least they’re honest enough to admit it.

    It’s a shame really because of all the weekend magazines I find theirs the best.

    The thing that really grips me about the Tribune though is the constant design changes. I know there have been a few internal changes, but those changes are also evident in the very style of the paper, which is frustrating because everytime I pick it up it’s different.

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  4. Administrator 29/05/2006 at 11:44

    It’s isn’t trying to attract readers with Ross O’Carroll Kelly, they’re coming in their droves to read it, with or without the advertising.

    Well of course they are; otherwise the advertising campaign is pointless…
    I’m sure readers are coming in their droves to read the paper (for the O’Carroll Kelly bit), but the management obviously see more potential customers so far unaware of the paper (maybe they see the book sales are higher than the paper sales and figure that the book readers haven’t made the connection yet?!)

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  5. After about the fifth or sixth ROCK column that I read, I realised that they had used up all the jokes on the first one.

    Gawd the tribune is an awful paper. Their news coverage is really pathetic. Most of their columnists are namby pambies (Diarmuid Doyle and Mick Clifford are sometimes okay) and the rest goes straight in the bin.

    It would almost make you buy the business post (if you didn’t mind being bored to death) or the Sindo (if you didn’t mind reading news that had been made up by some bozo in a pub)

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  6. Maaaaaan, why do those in the media spend most of their time talking about their own industry? It’s so incestuous. :)

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  7. In fairness, your best hope for half-decent Irish criticism and review on a Sunday is the Tribune. I know that’s not what the majority of you are looking for, but at this stage, it’s about the only Irish stuff I read on a Sunday. For me, the British Sundays are much more agreeable. The Observer’s Opinion and Review sections are exceptional.

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  8. [...] Back in May ‘06 I had a go at the Sunday Tribune for their advertising campaign which focused on the worn-out joke that is Ross O’Carroll-Kelly instead of their editorial credentials. [...]

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  9. [...] Sunday Tribune newspaper. Given that just a year ago the newspaper made Howard’s creation the single focal point of a massive advertising campaign should imply just how prized a possession the weekly column was for it and how damaging its loss [...]

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