As soon as Gerard Cunningham suggested the idea of a new independent Irish news magazine run by journalists to me, I was onboard. And here’s why.
Modern media is a complex business where the interests of shareholders, advertisers, editors, journalists and readers seldom converge.
Decisions about what stories to cover are taken for a wide variety of reasons – many of them commercial, as evidenced by the explosion in property porn and the light-touch reporting of Ireland’s “booming” economy, which subsequently went bang.
Stories about our society that deserve much greater scrutiny get buried under reams of pointless waffle about “rugby threesomes”, reality TV shows and “tell-us-about-your-book” interviews.
Guth is an ambitious crowd-funded project that tried to address those and other concerns about what motivates Irish journalism.
By securing as much funding as possible up front from readers, the dependence on advertising is removed, allowing much greater editorial freedom in what is a cut-throat market.
Guth will allow reporters to use their news sense to bring you stories that you haven’t already heard, or a perspective you may not have thought of.
It will hopefully herald a wholesale return to top-class investigative journalism in Ireland, of sharp writing and critical thinking.
In an era where freelance fees are collapsing, it will ensure that these reporters get the resources they need to do the job properly, and avoid the amateurish mistakes that are becoming more and more prevalent as hard-pressed hacks seek to churn out low-value content to feed the media beast.
Guth is not the answer to all our prayers, but from what I’ve seen it looks like a pretty good start.
By giving you the reader a sense of ownership, the contributors want to get back to what it is journalists are supposed to do – holding people and organisations to account, instead of sustaining share prices, property markets and fevered egos.
So sign up now for as much as you can, and let’s see how loud we can make this new media voice.