VIEWdigital hosts meeting at Ulster University about vital need for independent journalism


By Una Murphy

Independent journalism publishers from Belfast, Newry and Dublin took part in a discussion this week at Ulster University, organised by VIEWdigital. They heard from Roisin Wood, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland on the importance of Third Sector organisations getting their stories out to the community.

Roisin Wood, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, in conversation with VIEWdigital co-founder Brian Pelan

The meeting was attended by chief executives of charities including Joanne Vance, Community Development Health Network, based in Newry, and Kelly Andrews from Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid, as well tech experts, journalists, and community campaigners.

VIEWdigital publisher Una Murphy

VIEWdigital publisher Una Murphy discussed the role of the Public Interest News Foundation, a London-based journalism charity, which is highlighting the importance of smaller independent journalism publishers receiving funding from big tech companies.

She said VIEWdigital is featured in a new report of European independent journalism publishers called Project Oasis which will give greater visibility to independent digital native media organisations.

Sam Tranum, co-founder of Dublin Inquirer

The co-founder of the Dublin Inquirer, Sam Tranum discussed how subscriptions from readers had offered a financial lifeline when cash from advertisers proved to be an uncertain revenue stream.

Columba O’Hare, founder of, above, discussed how being part of a new partnership between the Independent Community News Network and Google Showcase has provided valuable funding.

National Union of Journalists National Executive Council member, Kathryn Johnston said it was interesting to see that the Welsh government is offering direct funding to independent journalism publishers in Wales. The union’s Belfast & District branch sponsored the event along with the School for Applied Social and Policy Sciences at Ulster University.