I mentioned earlier in the week that Kilkenny Alive was on the way. Conor O’Neill reckons it’s the future. I reckon it’s a good start, there’s (hopefully) a lot more to come and hopefully too it’s going to stick around.
KilkennyAlive.com is the latest addition to the media ranks in Kilkenny. Conor also makes a good point – if your business isn’t online these days, it’s headed for extinction. In terms of delivering a newspaper, this is harsh reality and something that traditional media folk need to get moving on. Despite the ups and down the Voice Group had with the Kilkenny Voice newspaper, I still feel one of the reasons they didn’t succeed is that after three years on the go as a printed publication, there was still no website. For as long as I remember (and I was at the launch of the Kilkenny Voice as well), it was a holding page for some registration company before disappearing completely.
A newspaper needs an online presence. Just like a magazine needs one. A radio station needs one.
With the demise of the Voice in Kilkenny, we’ve got two printed titles in circuilation – the Kilkenny People (only ABC rated paper) and the Kilkenny Advertiser. Both of these papers are operated by groups. The Kilkenny People, while recently being touted as being up for sale, is under the control of Johnston Press while the Advertiser is part of a larger network (Galway Advertiser, Mayo Advertiser, etc.).
Decisions that impact the way these papers operate online have to be fed all the way back up the chain. All the Advertiser sites look the same – sure wouldn’t they have to when you’ve got a brand to promote. The Kilkenny People site, while functional, is lacking. Lacking content, lacking a decent looking design (this being my opinion). With Kilkenny Alive, we’ve got something different. The “newspaper” is the site. They’ll have their journalists, their photographer and they’ve got a strong team behind it all in the forms of Jimmy Rhatigan, Sean Hurley and Mark Brennan. It’s an independent publication that has a strong chance to shape its own future and do something constructive online in terms of news delivery for Kilkenny city and county.
Though they’re only up and running to the public since yesterday, there’s some good content on the site. Breaking news will roll as and when it happens (unlike the other papers who are still “edition” based) and it does, with news from yesterday afternoon and the draw for the McCalmont Cup appearing just after lunch today. Yes, Kilkenny Alive is also publishing a Wednesday “edition” but there’s also talk of a free PDF download of the weekly editions, there are currently RSS feeds available for individual categories though you won’t see this from the front page at present.
I’m sure there’s plenty more to do for the site in terms of improving visibility, titles, URLs, seeing them indexed in Google News etc but the main thing is, it’s launched, it’s available and I do hope it lasts. Maybe they could take a leaf out of the book of the Munster Express, another solid online resource from an independent publication in the South East.
It’s good to see more Irish newspapers taking the web seriously though I was hoping to see a much better effort from them to be honest.
Ah, its a good effort for a small budget (i’m sure they didn’t have very much in the current climate). Good to see they used Drupal too, gives them lots of scope to expand the site with plenty of community features / user generated content etc.
Looks like Kilkenny Alive came to a halt a few months back with Jim Rhatigan , Pat Moore ( photographer ) and Sean Hurley plus Mark turning their attentions to The Kilkenny Reporter that is now successfully establishing itself . It was a grea\t community effort , so maybe they’ll be able to start it up again with voluntary staff . Hopefully …
If the Kilkenny Alive online newspaper is well and truly finished up , as a Journalist and Photographer , formerly of the Munster Express , I would happily be available to help and contribute towards a new online newspaper for Kilkenny , as the oldest surviving photographer still practising here in Dominic Street ( up near the Garda Station ) in Kilkenny City .
No , I would not have the time , or inclination , to run or edit such a venture full-time , but only on a voluntary basis to get such a great undertaking off the ground and up and running – maybe Ken McGuire or somebody with expertise in websites and journalism would ?
The Kilkenny People is now at an all-time low , the new freebie tabloid I view as another ‘ Hometown Chronicle ‘ by Jim Rhatigan , and the Kilkenny Advertiser is , well , an advertiser .
But Ken is right , none of them can possibly have the immediacy , of response particularlly , like an online newspaper , and like Ken I think it’s the future too .
IN my time I was also ‘ Spokesman for the Opposition ‘ writing weekly on the old Kilkenny Standard . I started out in Journalism in Summer 1964 with the most famous Kilkenny newspaper of them all , the Kilkenny Journal . I started out in professional photography back in 1966 , working for Oliver – Oliver Dunphy , retired, Studio, High Street , Kilkenny . Unlike other Journalists /Photographers , with the exception of my friend Roy Esmonde ( RTE ) , I worked as photographer in Dublin and London , stints in Paris and Germany too along the way . I also studied Computer Engineering in WIT and Computer Science in Trinity College Dublin .
Today I have a studio together again in Dominic Street , wet and digital darkrooms , and probably more professional equipment than any other Kilkenny photographer .
Anyway I’d love to see a real online newspaper emerge for Kilkenny , and would help in any way I can .
( MIchael McGrath
( Orange door , near Kilkenny Garda Station )
And , No , despite what the ‘ opposition’ put about , I do not touch alcohol at all ! But of course I am a Top Nazi , as they allege , and a wicked pagan Druid, worshipping the Devil too , if you can put up with that , hehehe .
Even worse , I am a Fianna Failer and lifelong supporter of Liam and Bobby Aylward .
Some mothers do have them , especially amongst my ‘ admirers’ here in Kilkenny !
I am also , for many years now , a Diocesan Photographer , and , unfashionably a liker of the Catholic Church – though ‘ A Genuine Independent ‘ as former Kilkenny Town Clerk Donal O’Brien once famously called me .
Michael McGrath .
The Kilkenny Journal newspaper is now online, edited by a man who worked on the original Kilkenny Journal as a reporter back in 1964!