Archive for February 4th, 2009

North Country Girls

Last night I went to see Rachel Unthank and the Winterset at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity, and it was one of the best gigs I’ve experienced in a long time. pr_rachel_unthank The music was astonishing, the band themselves were both charming and hilarious, there was synchronised clog-dancing (aw yeah) and the airy gallery setting was perfect (although it was also, many years ago, the setting of the single most embarrassing incident of my entire life – seriously, it was the sort of thing that would make an excellent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm – so I can never enter the place without feeling a twinge of shame). So yeah, if the Winterset ladies ever come to town again, and you’re in the mood for music that sounds like a cross between Feist, Steeleye Span, Erik Satie and Steve Reich, make sure you come along. And in the meantime, go and buy the two excellent albums.

On a similarly female friendly note, tomorrow night sees the next Feminist Open Forum event. Here’s what’s on offer:

SOUND BITES: A User’s Guide to the Media

Thursday February 5th, Brooks Hotel, Drury Street, Dublin


Sue Russell, media coordinator with Age and Opportunity, also former radio producer with RTE, will consider the battle of the stereotype – an ongoing struggle. She will consider what sexism has to tell us about ageism – and vice versa, clichés and how to avoid them– parachuting grannies and blond bombshells – how to make an ally of your audience, finally, raising awareness in your target group.

Roisin Boyd was news editor at Spare Rib for three years, reported and produced in RTE for 16 and now works as head of communications at the Irish Refugee Council. She will compare being on both sides of the mike, preparing for interviews, getting coverage, the blessings of a good press release and overcoming media resistance to certain issues, such as asylum seekers and refugees in her personal experience.

Margaret E Ward, journalist, feminist and manager of ClearInk, will focus on the importance of “tone of voice” in all marketing materials, including the press release. She will encourage participants to think like journalists, when to contact a journalist, keep them interested in your subject area, teach you how to give quotes and be a subject expert …

Shauneen Armstrong aka Redmum will enlighten us about blogging. Shauneen has been blogging for four years at redmum.blogspot.com. She organised a campaign against the Government’s decision to withdraw the cervical cancer vaccine from teenage girls through the social networking site, Facebook.

Contributors from the floor will include Bernie Dwyer, radio journalist with Radio Havana Cuba and documentary film maker, Nuala Haughey, freelance journalist and media trainer, Anthea McTeirnan, Cathy Dillon and Fiona McCann all from various sections and departments of the Irish Times.

Sounds good, no? Alas I probably won’t make it down, but I urge anyone who might be interested to head to the hotel – the FOF meeting I attended was great and this is a topic ripe for discussion. Places are limited, though, so get there early.

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