The Irish Times

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The Irish Times, 24 November 2005
Type Daily newspaper
Format broadsheet

Owner(s) Irish Times Trust
Founded 29 March 1859
(shortlived existence 1823-1825)
Political position      Liberal (originally
Protestant Irish nationalist,
became Irish Unionist,
now neither)
Headquarters 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin.
Editor Geraldine Kennedy

The Irish Times Building, on Tara Street

The Irish Times is Ireland's "newspaper of record", launched in the late 1850s. The current editor is Geraldine Kennedy, who succeeded Conor Brady in 2002.

The paper is generally perceived as liberal, social democratic and neutral on Irish unity, in contrast to the Irish Independent, which is perceived as populist and economically right wing.

For example, The Irish Times was seen by critics as supportive of Mary Robinson's campaign for the presidency of Ireland (a claim the newspaper disputes), and of legal changes to Ireland's divorce, contraception and abortion laws. It also opposed the 2004 referendum on Irish citizenship.

Though formed as a Protestant Irish nationalist paper, within two decades under new owners it had become the voice of Irish unionists who wanted Ireland to remain a full part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In the early twentieth century, as the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom and later also the Commonwealth, the paper changed its identity, becoming a more radical voice in the Irish media.

Its most prominent columnists include controversial former Sunday Tribune editor, Vincent Browne, left-wing writer and arts commentator Fintan O'Toole and former taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Garret FitzGerald. Senior international figures, including Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and others have written for its 'Op-Ed' (Opinion and Editorial) page. Its most prominent columns include Drapier (an anonymous column produced weekly by a politician, giving the 'insider' view of politics), "An Irishman's Diary" (regularly penned by the controversial right-wing commentator, Kevin Myers, until his recent move to the rival Irish Independent), and Rite and Reason, its weekly religious column, edited by Patsy McGarry, its Religious Affairs Editor. On the sports pages, Tom Humphries' Locker Room column recently led to a book.

One of its most famous columns was the biting and humorous Cruiskeen Lawn satire column written by Myles na gCopaleen, the pen name of Brian O'Nolan (Brian Ó Nualláin) who also wrote books using the name Flann O'Brien. Cruiskeen Lawn is an anglicized spelling of the Irish words cruiscín lán, meaning 'the full little jug'. Cruiskeen Lawn first appeared in the early 1940s and continued almost daily for over twenty five years.

It is also the Irish newspaper with the most bureaux abroad; it has had full time correspondents in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, London, Central and South America, Africa and other parts of the world.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it had a daily circulation of 117,370 during the second six months of 2005.


[edit] Historical background

The first appearance of a newspaper using the name The Irish Times occurred in 1823 however it closed in 1825. The title was revived as a thrice weekly publication by Major Lawrence E. Knox, with the first edition being published on 29 March, 1859. It was originally founded as a moderate protestant Irish nationalist newspaper, reflecting the politics of Knox, who stood unsuccessfully as a parliamentary candidate for Isaac Butt's Home Rule League. Its headquarters were at 4 Lower Abbey Street in Dublin.

After Knox's death in 1873 the paper was sold to the widow of Sir John Arnott, MP, a former Lord Mayor of Cork and owner of Arnotts, one of Dublin's major Department stores. The sale, for £35,000, led to two major changes. Its headquarters was shifted to 31 Westmoreland Street. It remained in buildings on or near that site until 2005. Its politics also shifted dramatically, becoming predominantly Protestant and Unionist. The paper famously called for the execution of the leaders of the failed 1916 Easter Rising <ref name=easter_rising>Sir John Maxwell's PositionIrish Times editorial, 10 May 1916 (from the BBC History website)</ref>.

Though the paper became a publicly listed company in 1900, the family continued to hold a majority shareholding until the 1960s (even after the family lost control, the great-grandson of the original purchaser was the paper's London editor). The last member of the Arnott family to sit on the paper's board was Sir Lauriston Arnott, who died in 1958.

Today, the newspaper is not owned by shareholders, but rather overseen by the Irish Times Trust. The Trust was created in 1974 as a guarantor of editorial independence, to prevent takeover by private individuals, and to guard against commercial pressures. The Irish Times is the only newspaper in Ireland, and one of only a few worldwide, to be protected in this way.

According to the Trust's memorandum of association, the purpose of the body is to "publish The Irish Times as an independent newspaper primarily concerned with serious issues for the benefit of the community throughout the whole of Ireland free from any form of personal or of party political, commercial, religious or other sectional control."

However, some commentators blame the Trust for problems that faced the paper in 2002. The Irish Times was in considerable financial difficulty when a downturn in advertising revenue coincided with a decision to invest its reserves in the building of a new printing plant; it laid off a large number of its journalists and underwent major restructuring. Some of its external bureaux were closed, while it also ceased publishing 'colour' pages specifically devoted to covering local Irish regions, with regional coverage now merged with news. The reorganisation appears to have had the desired effect; after posting losses of almost €3 million in 2002, the paper returned to profit in 2003.

In 1895, the paper moved from its original offices on Middle Abbey Street (the street that was until late 2004 the home of the Irish Independent) to D'Olier Street in the south city centre. "D'Olier Street" became a synonym for "The Irish Times", which in turn is personified as "The Old Lady of D'Olier Street". In October 2006, the paper relocated from its historical home of D'Olier Street in Dublin city centre to a new building in Tara Street, only two hundred metres away.

In May 2005, the paper launched a new international edition, which is available in London and southeast England at the same time as other daily newspapers. (Previously, copies of the Irish edition were flown from Dublin to major cities in Britain on passenger flights, arriving around lunchtime.) The new edition is printed at the Newsfax plant in Hackney, and uses the Financial Times distribution network. [1]

The company has diversified out of its original Irish Times title as a source of revenue. This process has seen the company, Irish Times Ltd. take a majority share in the Gazette Group Newspapers a local newspaper group publishing three local newspapers in West Dublin for €5 mn. This path of diversification has also seen the Irish Times acquire, the second-largest property internet portal in Ireland for €50 mn as an insurance policy against the loss of traditional classified property advertising revenues.

The company acquired the domain name in the mid 1990s and uses it to publish its online edition. Initially free, charges and registration were introduced in the early 2000s.

[edit] Content

Circulation & Readership of
Circulation 117,370
Readership 335,000 (10.3% of market)
Dates Jan—June 2005
Source National Newspapers of Ireland survey

The Irish Times publishes its residential property supplement every Thursday, being the main printed residential property listing for the Dublin area. This section can also be found online in searchable database format. The motors and jobs supplements are published on Wednesday and Friday respectively, and can be found online at the Cars and Jobs subsites. The website was launched in 2004.

On Fridays, The Irish Times publishes a Business supplement, and an entertainment supplement, The Ticket, with movie, music and theatre reviews, interviews, articles, and listings. It is edited by Hugh Linehan and features movie writers Michael Dwyer and Donald Clarke and music writers Jim Carroll, Brian Boyd, Tony Clayon-Lea and others. It was first published in November 2000.

The Irish Times previously sponsored a stage at the Oxegen festival under the name of The Ticket Stage, on which relatively well known, but not necessarily mainstream acts played. The name was chosen with regard to the weekend entertainment supplement of the paper. As of 2006, the stage has gone by the name "NME Stage" as a result of sponsorship from the British music magazine NME.

On Saturdays it publishes a Weekend section, rounding-up the week's news and featuring highly-regarded book reviews. It also has a Magazine supplement, which was launched in 2000.

There are two crosswords in The Irish Times, the Simplex and the Crosaire. Finishing the cryptic crossword is generally acknowledged to be fairly difficult.

In 2005, the newspaper added three Sudoku puzzles to each issue.

The Letters page is famous as a forum for debate on any number of topics.

The Irish Times features the political cartoons of Martyn Turner. The business section has a satirical illustration by David Rooney every Friday.

[edit] Columns

[edit] Editors

[edit] Notable Contributors (past and present)

[edit] See also

[edit] References


[edit] External links

National & regional newspapers in Ireland Image:Irishwiki.png

Currently existing
Evening Echo | Evening Herald | Foinse | Herald AM | Ireland on Sunday | Irish Examiner | Irish Independent | | Limerick Leader | Metro | Sunday Independent | Sunday Tribune | Sunday World | The Belfast Telegraph | The Irish News | The Irish Times | The News Letter | The Sunday Business Post

An Claidheamh Soluis | Daily Ireland | Daily News | Dublin Evening Mail | Evening Telegraph | Dublin Evening Standard | Evening Press | Freeman's Journal | The Irish Press | The Sunday Press | Sunday World (19th cent) | The Nation | United Irishman

See also: List of newspapers in Ireland

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The Irish Times

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