Category Archives: journalism

Stories from Ireland and Northern Ireland

With reporting from Dublin and Belfast between March 13 and 23


Youth soccer remains segregated sport in Northern Ireland ( 

Fair-skinned and wiry, Grace Ritchie looks no different than the dozen other boys staying dry in the locker room on this rainy Tuesday night. But the 13-year-old is in fact an oddity on his youth soccer team.

At Irish Weddings And Funerals, Priests Pushed Away (Religion News Service)

Although many observers have noted the impact of secularization and child abuse scandals on church membership and finances, only now are the Irish seeing the cultural and socioeconomic reverberations. These include a class of people willing to observe life’s most significant milestones outside the church.

A Young Presbyterian At The Center Of Peace And Politics In Northern Ireland (Neon Tommy)

Over burritos at a Belfast restaurant recently, he spoke about how he found his faith, what Christian churches must do to keep youth engaged and the mixing of culture, religion and politics.

N. Ireland struggles to confront Catholic Church’s enslavement of 1000s of women (AMERICAblog)

In Northern Ireland, however, there is no forthcoming apology or redress for Magdelene survivors.

Pope Francis won’t change the church’s path, says Dublin city councillor (Global Post) 

Mannix Flynn said the Catholic Church needs to take responsibility for its wrongs before it can change for the better.

Jesuit priests in Ireland see hope in Francis (Global Post)

The election of the first-ever Jesuit pope signifies a desire for change in the church, say Irish priests. Can Francis avoid becoming a ‘prisoner’ of the Vatican?

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day (

The passion sparked around the globe by Ireland’s patron saint’s day


Other Stories about the Catholic Church and the Irish


Religion Mixes With Politics In L.A. Mayoral Race (Neon Tommy)

Though religion and politics mixes during election season, people who study the intersection of religion and civil society say there’s not a strong religious voice at Los Angeles City Hall in day-to-day politics. But experts and community leaders say more could be done to improve the city if religious groups could consistently come together to address local issues.

LA Catholic Archiocese grooming next generation of elementary school leaders (

After three decades of declining enrollment, Catholic elementary schools in Los Angeles are heartened by two straight years of growth. But archdiocese policymakers say stronger leadership and innovation are needed to keep the momentum going and to position its schools as attractive and affordable alternatives to other educational options.

Lent Becoming A Second Christmas For Charities (The NonProfit Times)

During the 40-day period before Easter known as Lent, Christians of all denominations traditionally focus on praying, fasting and serving the community. Capitalizing on that last pillar, charities that make a push for donations and volunteers during Christmas increasingly see Lent as a similar opportunity.

Can the Catholic church attract new adherents with the Internet? (

Though many global religions are struggling with membership among the digitally savvy, the Catholic Church’s plight in America is especially dire because its once-preeminent role in educating its youth is dwindling.

Struggle with church continues after emigrants leave Ireland (

Where Micheal O’Leary sought churches in America two decades ago, John Corr now looks for pubs.

Some laity specifically called for a younger, more liberal and more charismatic leader than the retiring Pope Benedict. But many parishioners said the heavy thinking should be left to the electors.

Where God Meets Gallup (L.A. Currents)

The church boasts a tweeting pastor, a webcast sermon, a gay-community outreach program, a connection to the National Football League’s most recognizable quarterback, and dozens of famous and wealthy benefactors. But does any of that make the world a better place?

San Francisco Chronicle Articles


BlackBerry’s corporate customers make backup plans

Silicon Valley topic of Bravo reality show

RelayRides to use OnStar for car rentals

Rotten Tomatoes reviews comment policy

Will ‘Linsanity’ take root in Houston?

S.F.’s Xoom sponsors Peru’s Olympic team

SF creates about 5,000 jobs for youth

Techies’ time to shine as Olympics begin

Square’s value to double, analyst says

Olympics: Twitter’s huge, varied impact

YouTube streams Olympics to 64 nations

QuickPay wants to make parking easier

3taps, PadMapper face Craigslist challenge

Turner sale: home run for Bleacher Report

PG&E reports $128 million San Bruno-related costsChevron refinery fire will raise gas prices

California Headphones prepares for boom

Starbucks to use Square for payments

Target attracts job-seekers for SF store

ParkPlease saving spaces for the spot-less

MTV fantasy election targets young voters

App of the week: America’s Economy


Students go to mobile app boot camp

NBC, Adobe working to bring Olympics apps to more Androids

Bring a bike-in movie to San Francisco?

QuickPay finding its spot with parking app

Apple to strengthen password reset procedures

Square-Starbucks: A big deal for mobile

Craigslist backs off exclusive rights to ads

Different Takes on Obama’s Prize

An announcement made Friday surprised much of the world.

The media, so often on top of top breaking stories, with sources giving them hints to what might be coming was also among those dumbfounded. President Obama was awarded the Novel Peace Prize early Friday, and the media had to quickly adapt to the news. Even the President was shocked upon hearing the news, originally suspecting that the news was a joke. From the national stage to international stage, various media outlets took different takes on the subject. Immediate opinionated reactions became more well-thought out as the weekend progressed.

The New York Times by virtue of maintaining a political blog on its website was able to comment on the coverage of others, providing links to other perspectives. Before giving examples to some of those perspectives, a pair of writers on the Caucus blog summarized, “Nearly all agree it’s a rather stunning award for someone who hasn’t been in the presidency even a year, coupled with two wars, an economic downslide, the Iranian threat as well as the intractable Mideast problems.” The ability of the Times to provide different views makes their coverage stand out because it moves away from bias and short-sighted view.

The best news reports provide context to stories and answer the important question of “why.” In this case, why Obama won the award was left up to interpretation. Reports like on the Caucus that pointed to a Foreign Policy magazine article from earlier this year that described the motives and choices of the Nobel Prize commission as without a doubt political helped move in the right direction toward answering that question of why. For a news story so simple that it could be summed up in six words—Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize—opinionated coverage such as those from editorials and blogs seem to provide the best context. Everyone wanted to know why and what it meant.

Time Magazine’s Joe Klein’s editorial seemed to ask more questions than it answered: “In the end, this premature prize is a significant challenge for the President: Will Barack Obama use it to demonstrate that he actually has the courage, moral fortitude, intelligence and creativity that the award portends?” Back at the Times, Ross Douthat was much more blunt and straightforward, “…he’s made failure, if and when it comes, that much more embarrassing and difficult to bear…he’s etched in stone the phrase with which critics will dismiss his presidency…Jimmy “Malaise” Carter. Dubya the Incompetent. And now Barack Obama, Nobel laureate.”