Irish Times editor puts the case for ‘good journalism’


Mr. Kevin O’Sullivan, editor of The Irish Times, with Ms Jenny Dunne, editor of Brink, and Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT

28 May 2013:  Speaking at the launch of Brink – the magazine produced by final year journalism students in the DIT School of Media – the editor of the Irish Times Kevin O’Sullivan told his audience of professional journalists and graduating students that the principles of good journalism need to be at the heart of media.

Mr. O’Sullivan was welcomed to DIT by the President, Professor Brian Norton and by Mr. Michael Foley, lecturer in the School of Media.  He was invited by the graduating journalism class of 2013 to launch their publication which they say is aimed at ‘grads on the edge’.  Editor of Brink, Jenny Dunne, explains “For us millennials, an undergraduate degree, a year out, a master’s degree, a couple of career changes and maybe even an international move are a pretty standard pattern for our twenties….We have many more opportunities than previous generations but also more decisions to make….  We hope this magazine will help graduates to navigate that uncertain time when you’re trying to decide what you want your life to look like, and that it will help you to make that dream a reality.”


Congratulating the editorial team and contributors to Brink, O’Sullivan said he was very impressed by the choice of a themed publication which had allowed them to showcase their work in a very coherent way.  He went on to speak about journalism education at third level, and said “The relationship between The Irish Times and academic journalism schools has been a good one. In my view, that relationship and what has emerged from it has had a tremendous role in fostering “healthy journalism” – separate to the important role they play in promoting high standards in our frenetic multimedia world of the 21st century.   Many of our journalists are graduates of journalism schools. Some of our former journalists are now journalism academics and we have an impressive record of taking in journalism students on placement and internships. That relationship could be strengthened with both sides - academic institutions and media institutions, working together on research projects and in the generation of public interest journalism – to ensure journalism that matters is challenging the world at this critical time, especially in social, economic and environmental contexts.”

Addressing the professional journalists present - who had previously studied the College of Commerce Rathmines and had come back to DIT to complete a degree - O’Sullivan said he was envious of their opportunity to revisit and reflect on their practice.  He went on to speak generally about standards of journalism across all media platforms, remarking that journalism is under pressure in many parts of the world.  “Healthy journalism from a combination of publications, newspapers, web platforms and broadcast channels is critical to a robust, functioning and accountable democratic process. The essence of that role has been highlighted by others but can be summarised as:  Providing a rigorous account of people who are in power and people who wish to be in power, in government, corporate and non-profit sector; serving the information needs of all people and regarding this as a legitimate role.”

Read the text of the address by Kevin O’Sullivan, Editor – Irish Times, to graduating students of journalism at DIT May 28th 2013

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