Thursday, 12 March 2009

East Belfast Herald

A number of months ago I joined with other community, political and church representatives from across East Belfast at the launch of the ‘East Belfast Herald’ a new newspaper aimed at the varied and long established communities throughout that part of the city.

The paper was launched by the Employment and Learning Minister Reg Empey; this was fitting given that the paper has an established connection with the Belfast Metropolitan College. In fact, on the day it was recognised that two of the paper’s staff journalists had passed through that academy and achieved their journalism credentials with BMC.

I have been following the Herald now since its inception and think it is a great paper for the east!

Unlike others that have gone before it, the Herald, led by its editor Fiona Rutherford is making a very real attempt at expressing the voice and the feelings of all communities in East Belfast. That includes the Short Strand, an area often overlooked within the political establishment of East Béal Feirste. Dare I say it; I have even made it into the paper on several occasions!!

Naturally, because of our history it will be incredibly difficult to get a paper that suits everyone but that’s ok, differences, discussions and debates are healthy and necessary.

We have come some way when an aul Shinner like me can be seen and read about throughout the constituency.

I know the paper is doing it’s best to make itself relevant and available to the people of Saint Matthews Parish and that is a good thing. As all of us in East Béal Feirste continue to build on the groundwork of getting to know and understand each other the Herald can play an important role in the time ahead.

I am an Irish Republican, I am also a Socialist, I am the Sinn Féin Party Representative in East Belfast, not everyone in that part of the City is going to agree with or even like that, it is important though that that view is heard; much the same as all the other strands of political and social outlook in this very broad and diverse constituency, from the DUP to UUP, from the PUP to Alliance, from Sinn Féin to the Green Party and everyone else in between!

I have and continue to wish the paper well for the future, go néirí libh, and I am confident it has a place within all the different districts throughout this part of the city. I hope the Herald keeps up the good work and I hope it continues to grow in a climate that isn’t very healthy for newspaper publications, I also hope it continues to build an affinity with the citizens of this constituency and it becomes rightly viewed as a vehicle and platform for the news and views of the people.

Go néirí an bóthair libh!

1 comment:

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