Independent Newspapers

A history

Mark O'Brien & Kevin Rafter, editors

Hardback €45.00
Catalogue Price: €50.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-360-2
September 2012. 250pp; ills.

‘Despite its huge influence on Irish public life there has been little overarching analysis of the role of the Independent newspaper group in Irish politics and wider Irish society. This volume of essays attempts to correct that imbalance with contributors assessing both the history and personalities behind Ireland’s largest newspaper group … each [essay] contributes to give a tantalising glimpse into the way that Independent newspapers has intersected with the development of the Irish State itself … What makes the research herein valuable is that it brings together in one volume disparate areas and in so doing contributes to our overall knowledge of Irish media history', Kate Shanahan, Irish communications review (2014).

‘[A] very timely history of Ireland’s largest newspaper group … this book is a collection of analytical essays by a group of contributors, all of whom have impressive track records in the world of journalism or academia or both … Over 15 well-thought-out chapters it covers the establishment of the newspaper group that had and still has an extraordinary influence on the way the nation sees things … [this] is the first history of Ireland’s most significant newspaper group. The editors, Mark O’Brien and Kevin Rafter, have worked well to deliver the story in an eminently readable fashion', Michael Brophy, Irish Independent (Sept. 2012).

‘It is both a delight and a deficiency of this book that it tells the story of Independent Newspapers as if print were not in retreat under a potentially deadly onslaught of new media that are faster, cheaper and more agile. This story is set in a time when, in a phrase used here, Irish people “were in love with newspapers” … This book is not strictly a history. It is a compendium of essays, each narrating aspects of the Independent story … The essay format has advantages in relatively compact book of just over 200 pages. It enables the reader to see a multifaceted story from a variety of angles', Conor Brady, The Irish Times (October 2012).

‘Ida Milne’s essay, “The sense of history: working at Independent House”, is an evocative, slightly yearning piece … Milne tells the story of a company in which generations of the same family plied their trades, and workers felt pride as they entered the historic old building with its brass plate declaring The Nation. Rafter and O’Brien write well on the role of the proprietor, the editorship of Hector Legge at the Sunday Independent until 1970 and the Indo’s coverage of the Spanish Civil War', Justine McCarthy, The Sunday Times (October 2012).

‘The history of newspapers and the people who work in them has always engendered a certain louche appeal … [this book] is a welcome addition to the genre [and] the editors have taken an effective approach by asking specialist contributors to elaborate on specific aspects of the company’s history … the chapter on the early years of the newspaper by Patrick Maume throws much useful light on a previously unilluminated period of the newspaper’s history', Books Ireland (December 2012).