RTÉ, along with University of Limerick and other academic partners, launched its new online opinion platform, Brainstorm on Monday. RTÉ Brainstorm provides academics and researchers with an important platform to bring new thinking, ideas and perspectives in their areas of expertise into the public domain via RTÉ.ie.
At a time when many audiences are seeking informed and detailed analysis and coverage, RTÉ Brainstorm aims to give space to the broad diversity and richness that exists within Irish academia, and seeks and encourages contributions from a wide variety of contributors and perspectives, featuring both new and established voices.
Combining opinion, analysis and features, and edited by RTÉ journalist Jim Carroll, Brainstorm sits alongside the public broadcaster’s online journalism and content and provides readers with informed views and perspectives on a vast range of topics.
Since it opened to UL contributors last month, Brainstorm has featured expert articles from academics in the university’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, School of Law, Department of Sociology, Kemmy Business School and the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre.
Commenting, Dee Forbes, Director-General RTÉ said: “Healthy, informed public debate is central to any democratic society, and providing an impartial space for such debate in Ireland is core to RTÉ’s remit. Through this unique partnership we are excited to be able to give our digital audiences access to some of Ireland’s most talented academics and researchers, specialists who can give clarity and context to important topics, bringing greater awareness of new ideas and research and articulate alternative ways of dealing with complex issues. We are delighted that we have received such strong support from key third level institutions across the country."
UL president Dr Des Fitzgerald attended the launch along with representatives of University College Cork, NUI Galway, DCU, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ulster University and Maynooth University.
“RTÉ Brainstorm provides University of Limerick academics and researchers a national stage on which to showcase their expertise and have their voices heard on a range of issues that impact on the public, from the gender pay gap to football’s link to politics and popular culture. It offers a platform on which to share the considered and insightful contributions UL academics are making to the national discourse,” Dr Fitzgerald stated.
Since going live in late September more than 350 academics from a broad cross section of disciplines have signed up to be contributors to the initiative and RTÉ Brainstorm has already published a wide range of articles.
To date, the site has covered such topics as what happens to your body when you run a marathon, media and the military, electric cars, the Catalan referendum, Conor McGregor and MMA, hate speech on social media, tear gas and what’s going on in a newborn baby’s head.
“Arguably, in today’s congested media environment there is an even greater need for public service media, and through initiatives like RTÉ Brainstorm to offer a portal of discovery for knowledge and informed analysis, creating discussion and a greater understanding of the issues affecting people’s everyday lives,” said Dee Forbes.
RTÉ Brainstorm editor, Jim Carroll, said: “This initiative will practically support a greater contribution from academics across many different disciplines to public discussion in Ireland. Whether it’s the arts, humanities, social sciences, law, engineering, science, technology, business, economics, health or any other academic discipline, RTÉ Brainstorm welcomes fresh thinking, new ideas and different perspectives from the academic community. At a time when we’ve never been more in need of strong and informed news coverage, we firmly believe RTÉ’s audience will welcome the breadth of writing and analysis from Brainstorm contributors.”