In a mixture of thinking out loud and researching a potential article it has stuck in my mind that Dublin lacks a county-wide daily newspaper, the likes of which are common across the country.
I know part of the reason why this is; all but one of the country’s daily nationals publishes out of the capital and it is arguable that some have a far stronger focus on Dublin than anywhere else.
This focus can partly be explained on the fact that the seat of Government and higher houses of the Irish court system, for example, are both present in Dublin city. As a result while a national newspaper may not have an intentional Dublin bias it most certainly has the resources to respond to an incident in Dublin quicker than anywhere else, and so the fate of a daily Dublin newspaper is already written.
Of course there have been plenty of attempts made in relatively recent years to launch a traditional newspaper in Dublin; The Dublin Daily (later Dublin Daily Evening) being the most recent example. The Dublin Tribune is another case of a capital-focused newspaper going downhill, and almost taking others down with it.
It’s quite shocking to see it happen; the city has such a large population it’s hard to understand how a focused newspaper would not succeed. There are a number of reasons though; at this stage in the media’s development people have a favourite brand and almost all styles are catered for. Dragging customers away from their favourite publications can be difficult, as the Daily (Irish) Mail is discovering at the moment; the Dublin Daily was given the impossible task of getting huge readership from other tabloid newspapers in just 4 months, which no publication could do with any ease. On the other hand it is difficult for a Dublin-only newspaper to find something unique that the nationals haven’t already picked up which is also relevant enough to appeal to the entire population. To that end expense would probably need to be made on investigative journalists who can bring great rewards but by nature need more time and money to operate than standard news reporters.
Regardless of the reasons the lack of a county-wide daily Dublin newspaper does have a negative impact on people hoping to get experience in journalism. Usually local publications are the best starting points for young would-be’s but without them in the Dublin market there’s an un-bridged gap that isn’t easy to cross. A daily local is a great starting point for those wanting to move upwards and it also offers more potential for work experience.
Of course new publications like Metro offer some hope, even though they aren’t county-wide they are Dublin focused at present, but that’s likely to change once the companies behind it can afford to let it. Other than that there are weekly newspapers and freesheets aimed at specific sections of the Dublin market; Fingal, Northside, Blanchardstown and so on. While these publications offer more hope than having nothing but nationals they still don’t hold the same weight as a county-wide publications; partly due to their publishing frequency, partly due to the area they cover and partly due to the scale of topic on which they report.
On the contrary Dublin radio offers a lot more to chose from and community radio stations are far easier to get involved in from the bottom up. It seems odd that the Dublin radio situation is far more accessible to new-comers than the print market, which can seem extremely closed off at the best of times.