Teaching the Truth

Monday, 12th June 2017

By Kathryn Hayes, Lecturer in Journalism, June 2017

I am a lecturer in Journalism in UL. Since 2013 I have had sole responsibility for a number of modules in the Graduate Diploma/Masters in Journalism programmes. These modules focus on developing professional news reporting and writing skills for print journalism and multimedia platforms. I am also responsible for the delivery of the Journalism Team Project where fourth year and post grad students produce the Limerick Voice, a website and local newspaper.

I have 18 years industry experience as a working journalist. After graduating with a Journalism BA from DCU I started work in local newspapers such as the Limerick Leader and the Limerick edition of the Evening Echo. In 2003 I established a news agency providing Limerick based news to national and international news organisations.  I worked primarily as a Limerick correspondent for the Irish Times newspaper for 13 years. I also provided extensive coverage from the Limerick region to a number of other national newspaper titles including the Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner. During the same period I worked as a Limerick stringer for RTÉ working closely with Cathy Halloran, the mid-west correspondent for RTÉ. I have appeared as a panellist on TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne and have contributed to RTÉ’s radio programmes including Morning Ireland, the News at One and Drive Time.

Since commencing my doctoral studies in UL I’ve written chapters for a series of journalism practice books examining the future of journalism. I’ve written about the dearth of open data in Ireland and its impact on open government and public interest journalism. I’ve also written about Irish newspapers’ struggle for digital success as the print cliff looms. I’m currently involved in research on the impact of social media on editorial decision-making in Irish newspapers.

I believe one of the constants in journalism’s future is the ability to tell a story, regardless of the platform; this is at the core of my teaching philosophy.  I believe in equipping our students with both the knowledge and the tools to find and tell stories; developing critical minds alongside the practical skill sets. Truth, trust and verification are also at the centre of my teaching approach, which is practice based and research led.

I believe that learning is not confined to the classroom so I regularly bring journalism students to report on court sittings, press conferences, and national and local government meetings. I really enjoy applying the theory to the practice and to see students respond and react to that.  By encouraging students to develop their portfolio while at college they are demonstrating exactly the kind of graduate attributes employers seek when recruiting.  Interdisciplinary cooperation is also important in UL. We have great facilities for students to engage with other disciplines such as Sociologoy, Politics, Law and Business. UL has a great academic reputation with disciplines that require practical and academic knowledge; this mix of people working in synergy gives the student the best learning opportunity.


Kathryn Hayes,  Lecturer in Journalism.