School of Communications - News


DCU Launches Community Knowledge Exchange

CKEIn a bid to make the university even more relevant to local communities a new initiative was launched by DCU Vice President for Research and Innovation, Professor Alan Harvey in a dialogue with community leaders, organisers and activists at The Helix. Adding to the community based learning programmes of DCU in the Community ( this new initiative seeks to promote community based research.

Community areas of concern were discussed and the process of how these would be matched with DCU areas of expertise outlined. Proposals included issues around environmental management, evaluation analysis, public health, economic or financial analysis, advocacy and communication strategy for example.

For further information contact Brian Trench the 'Community Knowledge Broker' at who will help interest groups and community organisations formulate their issues as topics for research by students under academic supervision.

A History of Independent Newspapers

IndNewspapersFor over a decade, Independent Newspapers has been the most successful media organisation in Ireland. From William Martin Murphy to Tony O'Reilly, the newspaper group has long been at the centre of public life, often in controversial circumstances.

A new publication, Independent Newspapers: A History, edited by Dr Mark O'Brien and Dr Kevin Rafter of DCU School of Communications, examines the place of the now renamed Independent News & Media in Irish society by focussing on the interaction between proprietors, editors and reporters. The book, published by the Four Courts Press, was launched by Eamon Dunphy at the Royal Irish Academy.

  • Parnellite politics and the origins of Independent Newspapers - Patrick Maume
  • The life and career of William Martin Murphy - Padraig Yeates
  • TR Harrington and the 'new' Irish Independent - Felix M Larkin
  • The Irish Independent and the Irish revolution - Ian Kenneally
  • Tom Grehan: advertising pioneer and newspaperman - Colum Kenny
  • 'Irish Ireland' and the Irish Independent - Aoife Whelan
  • Frank Geary, the Irish Independent and the Spanish Civil War - Mark O'Brien
  • Independent Newspapers and Emergency censorship - Donal Ó Drisceoil
  • Independent Newspapers and post-war Irish society - Gary Murphy
  • Hector Legge at the Sunday Independent - Kevin Rafter
  • The changing of the guard at Middle Abbey Street - John Horgan
  • The sense of history: Working at Independent House - Ida Milne
  • The editorship of Vincent Doyle - Joe Breen
  • Independent Newspapers and Irish society - Mark O'Brien
  • Tony O'Reilly and Independent News & Media - Gavin Ellis
  • Profits, politics and personal position: the role of the proprietor - Kevin Rafter

Irish Media Election Coverage

NewspapersNew DCU funded research has found that the Irish media's coverage of the 2011 general election showed policy issues predominating over the treatment of politics as a game between winners and losers.

Preliminary findings from the research were presented at a seminar this week in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The study based on a content analysis of 12 national newspapers during the 2011 general election showed that there were significant differences between how these newspapers covered the campaign.

The project was led by Dr. Eoin O'Malley and Dr. Iain McMenamin from the School of Law & Government, and Dr. Kevin Rafter and Dr. Roddy Flynn from the School of Communications.

The study clearly demonstrated is there was considerable variation in newspaper coverage during the 2011 general election. The analysis showed a preponderance towards game content in the Sunday tabloids followed by the Sunday broadsheets. The daily tabloids in turn trailed the daily broadsheets.

This Irish study builds on comparable research in a number of other countries including Sweden, Belgium, Spain and the United States. Most of these other studies concluded the media has a preference for the game–frame content in election coverage.

The differences between these countries are wide – although not as wide as the variation between the Irish newspapers – and Ireland emerged as the only country where the issue frame predominates over the game frame.

The DCU study also involved analysis of broadcast output during the 2011 election campaign and radio and television results – along with the newspaper findings – will be published in several articles in international academic journals.

Funding for the study was provided by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Colum Kenny(2011) The Power of Silence: Silent Communication in Daily Life

The Power of Silence: Colum KennyColum Kenny explores the significance of silence in the arts, business, personal relationships, therapy, faith, politics, and other areas of daily life. This book demonstrates that silence is eloquent, powerful, beautiful and even dangerous. It surrounds and permeates our daily lives. Drawing on a wide range of cross-cultural, literary and historical sources, the author explores the uses and abuses of silence. He explains how silence is not associated with solitude alone but has a much broader value within society.

The main themes of The Power of Silence are positive and negative uses of silence, and the various ways in which silence has been understood culturally, socially and spiritually. The book's objectives are to equip people with a better appreciation of the value of silence and to enable them to explore its benefits and uses more easily for themselves. The Book has featured in An Irishwoman's Diary in the Irish Times and also been the focus of a radio interview on The Pat Kenny Show

Leading Palestinian negotiator to give DCU talk

A leading figure in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be reflecting on his experiences at a seminar in DCU. Dr Nabeel Shaath, Fatah’s Commissioner of International Relations, will address dignitaries and academics at DCU on the campaign for UN recognition of a Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders.

Energy Sustainability@DCU - 3 Year PhD

Public Engagement with Cleantech Innovation Scholarship in the School of Communications, Dublin City University

DCU School of Communications announces a multidisciplinary research initiative is a unique collaboration between the physical sciences and the social sciences and humanities. Energy Sustainability@DCU aims to pull together DCU’s energy research and innovation. It will also produce a protocol for anticipatory technology assessment, a foresight analysis of emerging sciences and technologies for environmental, ethical and other social dimensions in a mediated and publicly transparent process. A full description of the application process and requirement can be read at the PhD Scholarship description.

Performance strand introduced to DCU's Communications course

24 June 2011

Karens Sutton launching the new perfomance stand in DCU Commuincations

DCU’s BA in Communication Studies (DC131) now includes a fourth practice strand in ‘performance’ to run alongside the existing strands in audio, video and photography. The new performance strand will allow students to explore and apply live arts as a means of communication. With module such as Introduction to Performance, Puppetry and Communication, Rhetoric and Persuasion, and The Human Voice, the new elements will focus on inquiry and creative self-expression through drama, poetry, satire and the use of music.

For example, students taking the module in Puppetry & Communication will learn how to harness the potential of puppetry as a form of communication, as well as recognising the limitations and strengths of particular forms of puppetry for that purpose. The assessment for the module will include a case study of a particular aspect of puppetry and a group project producing a puppetry-based piece of communication.

This addition of a performance strand to the Communication Studies programme is unique to DCU. It not only provides for those interested in pursuing a career directly in that field, but will provide communication skills that focus on creativity, a vital element of knowledge and innovation.

The new strand in performance builds on the school's growing research interest in live arts and performance as a means of communication.

DCU already has a strong background in the area of performance, being the home of The Helix and The National Chamber Choir and host to the International Puppet Festival, Ireland.

Up to September 2010, some 85 students were offered places in the BACS. From September 2011, the offer is being raised to 100 to accommodate the new performance strand.

DCU students win five Smedias Awards

12 April 2011


DCU students won five National Student Media Awards (Smedias) at an awards ceremony hosted by Kathryn Thomas and Dáithí O Sé in the Mansion House. The winners saw off competition from over 1,500 entries and were drawn from more than 10 colleges and universities.

DCU journalism student Cormac O’Brien won the journalist of the year award in the national media category for his article published in GCN magazine.

Denis McEvoy, DCUfm Station Manager and winner of three Smedias, said: “I’m incredibly proud of DCUfm. It’s a great end to my two years here as manager and it’s fantastic to end on such a high. “I want to thank all the people who work tirelessly throughout the week to put out their shows. Their commitment has brought DCUfm from where it was two years ago to where it is today.”

Awards were won in all the following categories.

Web Designer of the Year-Sponsored
Winner: Denis McEvoy,, DCU

Radio Production - Arts & Features
Winner: Stephen Long, Action replay, DCU

Website of the Year
Winner: Denis McEvoy and Alan Regan,, DCU

Journalist of the year - National Press
Winner: Cormac O’Brien, GCN - Gay Community News, DCU

Radio Production – News & Current Affairs
Winner: Alan Regan and Denis McEvoy, Newswire Budget 2011, DCU

Among the judges were Irish Times Chief Reporter Carl O’Brien, Evening Herald Deputy Editor Ian Mallon and RTÉ Drivetime presenter Mary Wilson.


DCU graduate has been appointed RTE's DG

Noel Curran the new Director General Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan today welcomed the appointment of Noel Curran as the new Director General of RTÉ. Mr. Curran will serve as Director General for a period of 5 years.Minister Ryan said, 'I congratulate Noel on his appointment and wish him well.'

RTÉ continues to play a central role in the national conversation. Noel brings a wealth of experience and imagination to this position 'strong investigative instincts coupled with an appreciation of the needs of the audience. I am confident that RTÉ will maintain the highest standards of public service broadcasting under his leadership.'

The Minister thanked Cathal Goan for his years of service to Irish broadcasting. 'Cathal has left a legacy of achievement that cannot be undone. I thank him for his public service and know he will continue contributing to Irish life and language'.

Mr. Curran was appointed RTÉ Managing Director of Television with effect from October 2003. A graduate in Communications from DCU, he held a variety of posts in the print media before joining RTÉ in 1992. He initially worked as a reporter, producer and editor in RTÉ television and was later appointed as Editor of Current Affairs in the News and Current Affairs Division. Mr. Curran left RTÉ in June 2010 to pursue other business interests.

May, 2010: Student Multimedia Showcase launched by RTE Director-General, Cathal Goan.

RTE Director-General, Cathal Goan, officially launched this year’s Multimedia Showcase, based on final year projects by students on the multimedia students from School of Communication. This event took place in The Helix, on 26th and 27th May, 2010.

As he formally launched the event, Cathal Goan, the Director-General of RTE, said that he was tremendously impressed by both the quality and originality of the work produced by these DCU students. He said that what impressed him most was the clear evidence of extraordinary levels of creativity and standards of excellence manifest in the works on display. He said that this was especially the case, bearing in mind the resource constraints available to students in designing and producing such work. The RTE Director-General went on to say that this work was clearly a great credit to the student groups concerned as well as to the staff teaching on the School’s multimedia courses.

The Head of the School, Paschal Preston welcomed the RTE Director-General, all other guests, friends and families of the multimedia students present. He said that the School and all staff were extremely impressed and proud of the student work being showcased at this event. He said that such quality work clearly indicated that we should be confident that younger generation possess the creative resources and innovative qualities to overcome the current ‘hard times’ facing the country and the media sectors in economic and employment terms. He believed that such work underlined the scope of the media and cultural industries to make a real contribution within a coherent strategy for a better or “smart” economic, social and cultural future.

Declan Tuite, Chair of the school’s BSc Multimedia programme congratulated the students on the creativity and ingenuity shown by the various student groups in designing and realising these projects. He also proposed a toast and thank you to the families, partners and friends of the students for their supporting role in making such work possible. Browse samples of this years work at the exhibition website

Journalism graduate heads for Harvard

Kevin Doyle  - Nieman Fellow at Harvard Kevin Doyle, a graduate of DCU’s Masters in Journalism, has been selected as one of 12 journalists from around the world to be a Nieman Fellow at Harvard for the next academic year.

Kevin, who graduated from DCU in 1996, is editor-in-chief of The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh. During his year in Harvard, he will explore the rise of market freedoms among illiberal governments in Southeast Asia. Kevin has experienced arrest and criminal prosecution in connection with his journalism in Cambodia.

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard selected a total of 25 journalists from the United States and abroad. The 12 international fellows include the editor of a Panamanian newspaper, the founder of an investigative journalism centre in Romania, a reporter who covers Iran for The New York Times and the editorial page editor of a Russian business daily.

“The new fellows are a highly talented group of journalists with extraordinarily diverse backgrounds and interests. Together, they’ll have the opportunity to share their expertise and learn from each other as they take full advantage of the exceptional educational resources available at Harvard,” said Nieman Foundation Curator Bob Giles.

Established in 1938, the Nieman Foundation administers the oldest mid-career fellowship programme for journalists in the world. More than 1,300 journalists from 90 countries have received Nieman Fellowships.

April, 2010: DCU students were the main winners at the 10th Oxygen, National Student Media Awards in Dublin's Mansion House

"DCU was a big winner on the night as the college claimed 10 prizes..." (the Irish Independent, 22 April 2010).

DCU students were the big winners on the night as the college claimed a total of 10 prizes. DCU student Samuel Hamilton took the Journalist of the Year and Magazine of the Year prizes at the 10th Awards in Dublin's Mansion House. Stephen Mangan was another double winner as he took Sports Writer of the Year and Features Writer of the Year awards.

More than 600 students and media personalities attended the event, dubbed the Smedias. 'Sunday Tribune' editor Noirin Hegarty and her 'Irish Times' counterpart Geraldine Kennedy were among the judges for the 33 categories to honour excellence in student media.

January 2010: Workshop on ‘Sustainability – where Science and Society meet’

Co-organised by Brian Trench and Padraig Murphy, a workshop on ‘Sustainability – where Science and Society meet’, was held at DCU Friday, 29th January 2010. This was the fifth event in a series of annual seminars and colloquia on science in society at DCU by Celsius, the DCU interdisciplinary research group on science in society. Contributors to the workshop examined sustainability from environmental, sociological, scientific, philosophical and ethical perspectives. The aim of the workshop was to share understandings of a concept that is increasingly used as a keyword of public policy and institutional strategy. The workshop examined ‘sustainability’ in the several senses of minimising harm to the environment and minimising future hazards or risks, ensuring continuation, and being socially acceptable

School of Communications graduate Kathleen O’Rourke nominated at Oscars

Granny O'Grimm School of Communications graduate Kathleen O’Rourke is the writer and performer of a film nominated for the best animated short film award at the 7th March Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles. Kathleen is a 2001 graduate of the BA in Communication Studies.

Granny O’Grimm was made in 2008 by Irish company Brown Bag Films and centres on a character whom Kathleen devised and whose bedtimes stories are “grimmer than the Grimm fairytales”.

Kathleen O’Rourke said that she was “very excited” about the nomination and has already had a flavour of what is ahead in the awards ceremony from attending a nominee lunch in Los Angeles earlier this month.

She recalled that she was supported and encouraged to pursue comedy writing by her DCU lecturers and by the “very creative class” of which she was a part. Among the characters who featured in sketches she wrote and performed at DCU was a bitter granny character. She developed this further as a member of the Fallen Angels cabaret. Her friend Nicky Phelan, an animator, suggested the character could be the basis of an animated film.

The resulting film has been screened at festivals around the world and received awards at many of these. The film’s production was supported by the Irish Film Board, RTE and the Arts Council.

After DCU, Kathleen took a postgraduate course in primary school teaching and worked as a teacher. “It was very rewarding in its own way, “she said. “But my heart was in comedy.” She is aiming to develop Granny O’Grimm for television and is discussing a school-based sit com project with a production company. Her three years of career break from teaching seem likely to be extended.

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