herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Fergus Finlay: Shame on the Mail - cheap stunt shows that they just don't get us

Stunt: UK tabloid 'special edition' a total disgrace

IF I stole some of Terry Prone's work, or the work of any other columnist here in the Herald, and put my name on it, I could be sued for plagiarism.

I'd certainly, I suspect, be fired.

Isn't that exactly what the Mail has done, only in reverse?

Reputation

They stole the name and reputation of a well-respected and well-established newspaper and hid their own work in it.

It was a cheap shot, surely one of the lowest stunts in years.

To take somebody else's name and reputation, and use it to sell your own product -- one can only conclude that whoever runs the Mail on Sunday doesn't have a huge amount of pride in their own work.

And they did it to hardworking and decent professional colleagues whose jobs are hanging like a thread.

Using other people's reputations like that, without giving a damn about the consequences, is a pretty shameful thing to do.

How many of the people who work in the Tribune are being offered jobs by the Mail on Sunday, I wonder?

How much is the Mail on Sunday or its owners prepared to invest in the Tribune?

If they're willing to steal its reputation for their own benefit, it doesn't seem likely they'd be willing to help secure its future, does it?

The Tribune has developed a reputation for doing great political reporting and commentary over many years.

As long as I can remember its journalists have been influential news gatherers.

Names like Vincent Browne, Geraldine Kennedy, Emily O'Reilly -- they all served their time on the Tribune.

And through their work the paper was associated with great stories.

Workings

When Geraldine Kennedy worked on the Tribune, for instance, she got so many stories about the inner workings of Fianna Fail that Charlie Haughey thought it was necessary to tap her phone.

Especially at election times, a newspaper like the Sunday Tribune would, in the normal way, come into its own.

As much as we give out about our politicians in Ireland, we love elections and we devour election news and commentary.

I don't know how many elections would have happened during the lifetime of the Tribune, but it was always influential in its own way.

I worked on a lot of election campaigns as an insider, and I can always remember looking forward to the Tribune each week with nervousness, because I believed in its capacity to form opinion.

It is a tragedy that the paper isn't in a position to publish each week during one of the most important elections we've had for years.

But it's a disgrace that its good name has been used in a sordid attempts to boost sales for one of its competitors.

The people involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

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