SECOND SESSION, 4 MARCH – THE IRISH PRESS AND MEDIA
The second session was an introduction to the Irish press and media, led by City of Sanctuary Dublin chair, Andy Pollak (a retired Irish Times and BBC journalist) and his daughter Sorcha Pollak, a current Irish Times news reporter with a particular interest in migration. They covered topics such as: how to contact and inform reporters; how to understand the needs of editors and news editors; how to interest journalists in your story; how to deliver a clear, strong message; how to make your message ‘newsworthy’; how to understand a newspaper or broadcaster’s rhythms and moods; how to write a press release and how to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
Sorcha showed examples of her weekly ‘New to the Parish’ column in the Irish Times, in which she interviews a range of people from overseas who have come to live and work in Ireland. City of Sanctuary Dublin secretary Tian Yu Lloyd then spoke briefly about how to access local newspapers and freesheets.
At this session the participants were joined by 14 ‘companions’ whose job would be to befriend and assist them for the rest of the course. Most of these were local Dublin people, although they also included Polish, Slovak, American and Indian people living in Dublin. They came from a range of Dublin institutions, including Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University (Ireland’s first University of Sanctuary) and Dublin Unitarian Church (Ireland’s first Church of Sanctuary). Details of course assignments (which could be a video, a poster, an essay, a letter to a politician or a press release) were discussed (deadline for return of assignments, 25 March).