Still Shining

A triumph among tabloids

Back in 1961, Arthur Miller said: “A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” Fast forward to 1981. US pollster Lou Harris said “a good newspaper is not necessarily dull… the TV generation will not fight its way through gray, insipid newspapers no matter how good they are.” Ditto the YouTube and iPod generation.

Ask Paul Cooke, managing director of the Irish Daily Star or his colleague, editor Ger Colleran, what they consider to be a good newspaper and their reply is along the lines of something that people pay money every day to pick up and read and which gives them what they want in a ‘sports, courts and pictures' tabloid.

Cooke picked up a copy of the Star on the table and began flicking through the pages. “You look at our paper there, right,” he said, “everything that happened in Ireland yesterday is in that, everything. Now we mightn't have 40 pars on a story, we might have two, but it's there. That's the news and there's lots more – it's a value proposition.”

Ger Colleran is editor of the Star. A native of Mayo, he grew up in Clare. He is a former editor of The Kerryman and enjoys hurling, GAA football and golf. A regular panellist on current affairs shows on RTE and TV3, Colleran never minces his words. In a recent issue, Phoenix magazine described him as “the best tabloid hack in Ireland”.

Colleran says that while the Star is “massively political” they steer away from endorsing parties as Murdoch has done in the UK. “Politics is the highest calling and people might be surprised to hear me saying that,” Colleran said. “But bad politics is an appalling travesty in a republic, the sort that we've been seeing here for the last ten years.

“Anything the Star does in its coverage of politics has been to examine where the bodies are, where the responsibility rests for the disaster that has befallen us. We've been saying ever since the 2002 general election that this government has been a government of cheats and brigands. The economy was inflated and the public service jacked up in numbers for Fianna F

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