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Our Man In Stockholm

Our Man In Stockholm

By Philip O Connor
Home of the Our Man In Stockholm and Irish In Sweden podcasts.
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Irish In Sweden - Paddy Can English & Neil's Behaving Himself
This week I'm joined by Paddy Kelly to talk about his book "We Can English", which weaves together some hilarious copywriting fails in Sweden with the story of his life here, and Carlow and Luleå's Neil Costigan, who recently concluded a deal to sell his company Behaviosec - the second hugely successful business he has helped to build during his time in Sweden. Neil takes us from his time in university to Uppsala, Stockholm, Silicon Valley and all the way to the frozen north. There's also news of some blues in Malmö, and an apology from me for being such a sore loser at Gaelic football - you'd think I'd have learned by now... As always, the show is proudly sponsored by Wirströms Pub, Sweden's finest Irish bar located in the heart of Gamla Stan in Stockholm (the Old Town). Support the show: Swish: 1232424166 Advertising/sponsorship: You can order Paddy's book here:
May 16, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Amateur Drama & Alcohol-Free Joe
This week Aidan from Stockholm's Spuds & Sill Drama Society joins me to talk about their upcoming production of "Cupid Wore Skirts", and I catch up with former Stockholm resident, actor, writer and director Joe O'Neill, who has sworn himself off alcohol for a year as part of a charity drive - with some interesting results... You can get tickets for "Cupid Wore Skirts" here: Joe's films can be found on YouTube, among them this one, "Toxic":
May 09, 2022
OMIS - First She Takes Manhattan - Petesy Carroll On Katie Taylor At MSG
Unlike yours truly, who needs to have a serious think about his life choices, MMA journalist and podcaster Petesy Carroll was in New York to see Katie Taylor make history against Amanda Serrano last Saturday, and he joined me to tell me exactly what it was I missed on a magical week in the Big Apple.
May 04, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Teanga Beo & Sound Man Kevin
This week we pay a visit to the basement of Wirströms Pub as a group of people got together to practice speaking Irish. There's news of Paddy Kelly's new book "We Can English" and the latest Spuds & Sill theatre production, and a journey down south to Malmö to hear from Kevin Dunne about his route to Sweden and his new company kitting out sound studios all over the country. You can find the Irish speakers on Facebook here: Info about Spuds & Sill's show and tickets can be found here: Paddy's book can be bought here:
May 02, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Guitar King Brian & Dan's Under Par
This week there's new music from the legendary Brian O'Connor and we hear how Dan Hickey went from Scandinavian Gaelic games star to professional golfer over the course of a couple of seasons. He also gives a few tips about how to correct your swing, so with the golf courses of Sweden opening up for the season, there's never been a better time to listen!
April 25, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Football Fever & Malena's Fight For Her Family
Later this week Stockholm Gaels will kick off a historic first season as the club's soccer team makes its debut in Division 7D of the Stockholm Football League - player-coach Seán "The Drogheda Destroyer" Donnelly joins me to set the scene for the season. You can keep up to date with the games and everything else happening in the Swedish-Irish community by subscribing to the community calendar here: I also talked to Malena Reynolds, founder of, about her struggle to get appropriate childcare for her neuro-divergent sons Ellis and Ardan in Örebro. Support the show: Swish: 1232424166 Advertising/sponsorship:
April 18, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Bonus Sports Special With Gaelic Football, Zack Elbouzedi and the Irish WNT
A bumper week of Irish sport in Scandinavia leads to a bonus podcast here during Easter week, with visits to a Gaelic football tournament in Helsinki, the Friends Arena in Stockholm and Gamla Ullevi in Gothenburg for Ireland's thrilling 1-1 draw in their World Cup qualifier with Sweden. We hear from Galway's Emma Ridge, Michelle Cotter from Clare speaking Finnish, Meadbh Murray on pride in the jersey, as well as Louise Quinn's friends and former team-mates Vaila Barsely and Annica Barsley, who as Annica Svensson played for Sweden on that hallowed turf, before, during and after the Sweden game. All with thanks to Wirströms Pub - Sweden's finest Irish bar.
April 13, 2022
Irish In Sweden - The Mighty Quinn & Alex The Teacher
As Ireland take on Sweden in Gothenburg, former Eskilstuna defender Louise Quinn joins the podcast to talk about playing here, selling tickets in the rain and learning the language, and another brilliant footballer Alex Orphanides tells us what you can expect from the language courses at Folkuniversitetet. Support the show: Swish: 1232424166 Advertising/sponsorship:
April 11, 2022
OMIS - Ghost Writing - Danny Robins On Podcasting The Supernatural And Lily Allen The Actress
A friend's shared spooky experience struck a chord with writer and broadcaster Danny Robins, but little did he know it would pretty much change his life. A number of hugely successful podcast series and a West End hit featuring singer Lily Allen have led to a TV deal - and thousands of people getting in touch to share their stories of the supernatural. But what is it about ghost stories that appeals to us? Why are people so interested? And what effect has it had on Danny's career? All this and more on the latest episode.
April 08, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Alannah's Art & Rory's Chamber
This week we visit Eskilstuna where Irish artist Alannah Robbins provided the visuals for an uplifting musical experience, and I chat to Rory Moore in Örnsköldsvik about how he wound up in Sweden and the Swedish-Irish Chamber Of Commerce, which has really taken off in the last couple of years. We open with a mention of the Swedish-Irish community calendar, which you can subscribe to here - do so and you'll never miss an event again! Support the show: Swish: 1232424166 Advertising/sponsorship:
April 04, 2022
Premier Swedes - Roland Nilsson
It may seem amazing now, but Sweden's Roland Nilsson was one of only 11 foreign players to play on the very first weekend of the Premier League back in August 1992. The mild-mannered defender was brought to England by "Big Ron" Atkinson and quietly went about hammering opposing wingers as he became a cult hero at Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City in the Premier League. Find out who the toughest challenge was, why he moved back to Helsingborg in 1994 and which Premier League legend he wished that he had the chance to play with. Support the show: Swish: 1232424166 Advertising/sponsorship:
March 29, 2022
OMIS - My Fourth Time, We Drowned - Sally Hayden On The Hellish Path To Europe For Migrants
Sally Hayden's book "My Fourth Time, We Drowned" is the most important book that will be published in Europe this year. It painstakingly documents the brutal path to Europe for many migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, containing shocking tales of political indifference, human trafficking and misery, as well as tiny glimmers of hope. Listen to the podcast, then go buy the book.
March 28, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Curing Cancer & Cookies For All
On one of our more eclectic episodes so far, Hazel Reilly from Dublin talks about her work trying to find a cure for cancer, as well as her desire to find young people in Stockholm to play some traditional Irish music with. Later we sit down at Sponge Cookies with pastry chef Mark Farrell, whose cookies are really taking off in the capital. Mark, who has worked in some of the finest kitchens in England and Sweden, will soon be running the Little Britain team garden in Nacka Strand, as well as having his delights on sale at Hornstull Market every week. Support the show: Swish: 1232424166 Advertising/sponsorship:
March 28, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Sounds Of St. Patrick's Day Parade In Stockholm
On Saturday the Swedish-Irish community gathered in Stockholm for the first parade since 2019, and what a day it was. Guinness Zero, wolfhounds, pipers, representatives from Luleå and Gävle - even a rogue Cork jersey made an appearance! Listen back to the sounds of a great day for the Irish In Sweden!
March 21, 2022
Our Man In Stockholm - From Press Row To The Cage - Casey Leydon On His MMA Debut
On Saturday night, at the age of 44, Casey Leydon will swap press row and his regular work as the best video creator in combat sports for a place in the cage, where he will meet a man half his age in an amateur MMA bout. He talks to me about how he has transformed from "not being a sports guy" who was carrying a few extra pounds while covering the world's premier MMA events to being a lean, mean fighting machine ready to go out on his shield. One of the most thoughtful people in MMA media, his insights are well worth your time and mine.
March 17, 2022
Irish In Sweden - St. Patrick's Week Special - Minister Damien English
A bonus podcast during the finest week of the year - St. Patrick's Week - as Minister Damien English sits down with me to talk about our two countries, our diaspora and what we can expect from each other, as well as trade, neutrality and the possibility of voting rights for the Irish abroad. The minister is in Sweden to talk to Team Ireland at Ireland House, as well as political and business representatives and the Irish community, and to collect a few good ideas to take back with him to Dublin.  This episode comes to you with the support of Wirströms Pub in Gamla Stan - Stockholm's finest Irish pub! 
March 15, 2022
Irish In Sweden - St Patrick's Day & Learning Swedish
Every day is a good day to be Irish, but St. Patrick's Day has that little extra, and in Sweden it will be once again celebrated with a parade on March 19.  Sofie Murphy from the Swedish-Irish Society joins me to talk about the celebrations, and Sofi and Sarah from Lys Förlag pay a visit to the studio to talk about the books they publish, learning Swedish and ad fails in English by big Swedish brands, which are the subject of an upcoming book by Irishman Paddy Kelly.  There's also a chat with Kieran Hennigan, who just completed a half-Vasaloppet för a very good cause. 
March 14, 2022
Premier Swedes - Anders Limpar
The first in a new series of football podcasts telling the stories behind Sweden's Premier League stars. First out is Arsenal and Everton legend Anders Limpar, the mild-mannered wizard of the wing who ignited a white-hot rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United before going on to play for the club as he supported as a boy - Everton F.C. Anders speaks about how his football journey took him to England, the hard-nosed culture of the time, not being a beer-drinker, and how he still respects George Graham despite the manager showing him the door at Highbury.
March 10, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Trading Places - Meet The Swedes In Ireland
With the pandemic seemingly receding, I visited Dublin where I took the chance to see how the other half live - the Swedes who have made Ireland their home. Anton Berglund moved to Ireland for a job last November, whereas Vanessa Moore arrived in Cork to study and in 1999 and is still in Ireland. Answering perhaps the most important question of all, writer, comedian and spoken word artists Kalle Ryan was born to a Swedish mother and an Irish father - so who does he cheer for when Zlatan meets James McClean? 
March 07, 2022
Cúpla Focail And A Few Tunes
This week I've been talking to Max Ortiz, the man behind the revival of the Irish language in Stockholm, and musician Karl Murphy joins me to talk about playing the pubs, the pandemic and the sense of purpose that singing gives him. As always, a huge thanks to Martin and the staff at Wirströms Pub, proud sponsors of the podcast. 
February 28, 2022
Farewell, Beijing
Behind the scenes at the Beijing Olympics, the genius of photographers and why the outbreak of more illustrates why we need the Olympics now more than ever... 
February 24, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Renting In Sweden & Stephen Farran Lee On Literature
This week Glenn Karlsson of Hyresgästförening tells us about the pitfalls of renting in Sweden and what you can do if you end up in a dispute with your landlord, and Stephen Farran-Lee recounts his career as an editor, publisher and translator of some of the most talented Irish writers of the last three decades.
February 21, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Enterprise Ireland And Brewing Up A Storm
Hannah Fraser talks to me about the work Enterprise Ireland is doing in Sweden and the great success stories of Irish companies here, while Kieran and Tom from the Mälardalen Brewing Company say goodbye to "Dry January" with craft beers from Strängnäs.
February 14, 2022
Irish In Sweden - AIK's Aoife And Thomas The Olympian
Teenager Aoife Leacy moved to Ireland at the age of six and became a bit of a sporting prodigy, but it is the very Swedish sport of ice hockey that won her heart, and she's now playing in the elite with AIK. They play a derby against Djurgården on Feb 26 at 1300 so let's mobilise all the listeners and the entire Irish community to go watch her - link below to the tickets website! There's also a chat with Irish-Norwegian cross-country skier Thomas Maloney Westgård who is taking on the best in the world at the Beijing Olympics and proudly wearing the green. Link to hockey tickets:
February 07, 2022
Mexico 1970 And The Greatest Show On Earth - Andrew Downie
The 1970 World Cup changed football forever as a swashbuckling Brazil team won the Jules Rimet trophy in fine style, and it's all documented in a new book, "The Greatest Show On Earth" by Andrew Downie - but how do you write a book about an event over 50 years ago that some insist on being paid to speak about, if they are still alive at all? Andrew tells the story behind this great slice of footballing history.
February 03, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Our Vancouver Olympian And Team Ireland At Vasaloppet
With the Winter Olympics on the horizon, our attention turns to all things snow and sliding. Now living in Stockholm and working at IES, Aoife Hoey Printz shares her amazing story of careening down the bobsleigh track at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, and Karl Lambert tells the tale of how a discussion over a few pints led to the formation of Team Ireland to take on the gruelling 90km cross-country ski race that is Vasaloppet.
January 31, 2022
Lights, Camera, Traction - Documentary-Making With Pat O'Mahony
While the whole world was going nuts over "Get Back", I was giving it a major body swerve - do we really need another endless documentary about lads playing music? Turns out we do, and I got award-winning producer Pat O'Mahony to explain to me why it's a great documentary, and what goes into making one.
January 26, 2022
Irish In Sweden - Minding Yourself With Mark Ennis
This week I spoke to Mark Ennis about mental health, depression and being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, and there's some news about what's going to be happening in the coming weeks as I disappear behind China's Great Wall, but the podcasts keep on coming! Some useful links for mental health:
January 24, 2022
The Swedish Irish Society And The Irishwoman Running Sigtuna's Show
This week Sofie Murphy joins me to talk about the Swedish-Irish Society, probably the country's oldest organisation promoting Irish culture here, and I talk to Helen Kavanagh Berglund about her work running the show in Sigtuna. There's also some good news for Guinness Drinkers in "dry January" too...
January 17, 2022
Changing The Game For Trans Athletes
A study by Denmark's sports federation published last week attempts to address the situation for trans, non-binary and intersex athletes in sport, and it surprised many - six of its seven recommendations had nothing to do with elite competitions like the Olympics, instead focusing on inclusion. I spoke to Rikke Rikke Rønholt Albertsen, a Danish academic and former elite track and field athlete, about the report's recommendations, and what a level playing field for trans, non-binary and intersex people might look like.
January 13, 2022
Irish In Sweden Ep 7 - The Irishman Who Fought Covid With Tyson
This week I visited the Karolinska Institute to talk to scientist Gerry McInerney about his work on COVID-19 antibodies together with an alpaca named Tyson, and I paid a visit to Martin Hession, owner of Wirströms Pub in Gamla Stan (Stockholm's Old Town) to find out how the pandemic affected his business - and if we're seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. 
January 10, 2022
Setting Our Sights On September Election In Sweden
In the first OMIS podcast of 2022, Christian Christensen joins me to talk about Sweden's upcoming election in September - will it be another weak centre-left coalition or can Magdalena Andersson sweep to power with a strong majority? Or will the conservatives be bolstered by the far-right Sweden Democrats being brought in from the cold at long last?
January 05, 2022
Irish In Sweden Ep 6 - New Year, New You
January brings a focus on sport and fitness, and there are plenty of opportunities in Sweden to get involved. I go through some of the current gym prices from around the country and I'm joined by Henrik Tejlfors of Korpen (, who organise leagues and competitions in different sports all over Sweden for those who want to compete, but maybe not at the highest level! There's also a chat with Jennifer O'Sullivan, our former athlete turned pasta entrepreneur, about how the kitchen is just as important as the gym when it comes to building the new you!
January 03, 2022
Irish In Sweden Ep 5 - Inbetween (Christmas) Days
Something to listen to while you're out on a brisk, bracing walk on the days between Christmas and New Year!  Emma Löfgren of The Local takes us through what's needed to get back into Sweden* once your time in Ireland is over, and Dave Rooney of the Black Donnellys band tells us about a brilliant Emmy award-winning documentary he made with my good friend Dave Browne. The two Daves toured Sweden and Scandinavia extensively before moving to America and Las Vegas, where they are taking the place by storm. Their film "This Is My Home: An Irish Story" is out on Netflix now and well worth a watch! *PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINE AT LEAST 24 HOURS before travelling back - things are changing all the time and new measures may be introduced, and the podcast cannot take any responsibility for any such changes.  You can find the latest travel info in English here:
December 27, 2021
Irish In Sweden Ep 4 - Christmas Special
A trip through Stockholm to visit one of the few restaurants serving a turkey dinner (but only until the 23rd!), a chat with "Kitchen Hero" Donal Skehan, about trying to balance the Swedish and Irish traditions in the kitchen, and of course your greetings from all over Sweden and Ireland. God jul!
December 21, 2021
Irish In Stockholm Ep 3 - Gaols And Gaelic Football
A review of the best season yet in Swedish Gaelic football, when Gävle and Luleå burst onto the scene to challenge Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, and a conversation with Belfast man Aaron Kennedy on what to keep in mind when trying to stay on the right side of the "ordningsvakter" - bouncers - at Swedish pub and nightclubs.
December 15, 2021
Independent Helwani
Ariel Helwani is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) of MMA journalism and a man at the very top of the game - but along the way, he too has suffered from anxiety and the idea that at some point the dream could be ripped from his grasp. Talking to a therapist and becoming independent in his work has not just led to even greater success, it has given him even greater peace of mind.
December 13, 2021
Irish In Sweden Ep 2 - Stockholm Street Stories
Jennifer O'Sullivan has taken the plunge and started a new business, and Zack Elbouzedi has been taking football's Allsvenskan by storm - in episode 2 we're out and about on the streets of Stockholm finding Irish stories to tell.
December 10, 2021
Irish In Sweden - Ambassador Austin Gormley
It's here! The first episode of a new podcast for the Irish community in Sweden! Whether you're here building a data centre in Luleå or at university in Lund, we've got you covered. In the first episode I speak to Ambassador Austin Gormley about his work, Ireland's presence here in Sweden and what citizens can expect from their embassy. Like, share and most of all - get involved!
December 07, 2021
The Magic Slice - Jack Murray On Storytelling
Jack Murray is one of Ireland's foremost communications professionals, and like everyone from Hans Christian Andersen to Björn from ABBA, he quickly realised the value of storytelling, no matter what it is you are trying to communicate. HIs brilliant new book on the subject, "The Magic Slice", gives you a glimpse behind the curtain and tells you exactly how to create compelling narratives that audiences appreciate.
November 17, 2021
Sweden's Disability Russian Roulette - Eric Hammarstrand On Covid
Sweden's Covid mitigation strategy has stuck out to the world, but what is seldom mentioned is those that it left behind - the elderly and people with disabilities. Eric Hammarstrand has been housebound pretty much since the start of the pandemic and he feels angry and let down by Swedish society - including a Left Party that has been just as negligent of the needs of disabled people as those on the right.
November 12, 2021
Ireland's Women Answer The Call - Stephanie Roche
Two huge games for Ireland's footballing women ended with one loss, one draw and the World Cup dream very much alive - Stephanie Roche joined me to go through the tactics that Vera Pauw's side used in this momentous week.
October 29, 2021
If I Could Talk To The Animals - Brendan Walsh On Podcasting, Zookeeping And The Environment
Brendan Walsh has gone from sending letters to zoos begging for information to being a zookeeper himself, educating people about animals through everything from daily talks to podcasts and TV shows. I had him as a regular guest on a radio show 25 years ago back when he was a teenager, and his passion for the animal kingdom and the natural world burns as brightly now as it did then. We talked about the pandemic, bat detectors, and what to do with that puppy you got now that the pandemic is over.
October 13, 2021
Down The Rabbit Hole - Qanon, Conspiracy Theories & Social Media With Aoife Gallagher
Conspiracy theories have always been with us, but as the Covid-19 pandemic swept around the world in March 2020 they exploded in popularity as misinformation flooded to fill the vacuum of uncertainty. They quickly expanded to include everything from Covid conspiracies and paedophile rings to anti-vaxx sentiments, presenting governments and scientists with a tough nut to crack as they sought to convince ordinary people that they had their best interests at heart. Aoife Gallagher is an expert in how such theories spread and flourish online and she joined me to talk about how such movements work and grow - and what might be done to stop them.
September 30, 2021
A Sporting Chance For Trans Athletes - Kirsti Miller
Before transitioning, Kirsti Miller was a world champion and a multi-sport sensation in her Australian hometown of Wagga Wagga, as well as being the toughest prison governor in the correctional system. After transitioning, hormone treatments saw her go from over 100 kilos to under 60 as the supposed advantages of having once inhabited a male body quickly ebbed away. She joined me to talk about the realities facing trans people - especially women - in sport, and how education rather than fear is key to understanding what we need to do next.
September 21, 2021
Qatar, Human Rights And Heart Attacks - Tim Sparv
Finland captain Tim Sparv is one of the most outspoken footballers when it comes to the Qatar World Cup and the conversation around human rights, and there are not too many more like him. His article for the Players Tribune prompted a re-awakening of the discussion around what is being done, but that debate is all too often centred on pussyfooting around the subject. He joined me to talk about his learning journey about Qatar and the situation there, and also to talk about the night Finland made their bow at the finals of a major tournament against Denmark back in June, only for Christian Eriksen to suffer a heart attack.
September 15, 2021
What We Talk About When We Talk About Sport, Or Politics, Or Anything Else
No matter what we are talking about, whether it is sport, politics or anything else, we need to think before we speak - and we also need to ask ourselves where our opinions on these things come from.
September 09, 2021
Zack To The Future - Zack Elbouzedi On Soccer, Stockholm And Seeing A New Path
Zack Elbouzedi's path in football has taken many twists and turns, the latest of which has led him to Stockholm and AIK. In front of 12,300 fans on Sunday, Zack's two corners laid the foundations for a 2-1 win that keeps his new team in the title race, and behind his success is a story of hard work, perseverance, and that little bit of luck that brings us to the right place at the right time. Essential listening for anyone involved in football, especially aspiring young pros.
August 26, 2021
Paralympics For The People - Sport, Sex And Wheelchair Use With Graham Merrigan
The Paralympics is taking place in Tokyo, and even though the coverage is way, way better than it used to be, there's always room for improvement. Actor, activist, athlete, podcaster and heartthrob Graham Merrigan joined me to talk about representation on TV, relationships and being a wheelchair user in modern Ireland. His podcast with Danny Murray is called "What's the Story" and is well worth your time.
August 25, 2021
Auslander - Singing, Songwriting & Surviving With Craig Walker
Over 30 years ago Dublin was a vibrant city struggling to shake off generations of poverty and the shackles of the cult of Catholicism. As a teenage songwriter with his band Power Of Dreams, Craig Walker captured that time before upping sticks and heading to London to seek fame and fortune, and now as an adult he finds himself in Berlin, still writing songs that resonate. The band's new album Auslander - the German word for foreigner - is an outstanding return to form after a gap of 26 years, and he still has as much to say as he ever did about creativity, writing and what it means to be Irish and a stranger in a strange land.
August 13, 2021
Once In A Lifetime, Da
From the moment my Da told me about Muhammad Ali as a six-year-old (me, not him), I was smitten. On Sunday I got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Irish sporting history made at the Olympics, and I wish he could have been there with me.
August 10, 2021
Konichiwa - A Postcard From Tokyo
Reflections from the first ten days in Japan at the Tokyo Olympics featuring dubious surfers, imaginary busses, and what happens when everything gets lost in translation...
July 28, 2021
Remembering Utoeya, Ten Years On
This time ten years ago, none of us knew the name of Anders Behring Breivik. If only it had stayed that way. On July 22 he detonated a bomb in Oslo that killed eight people before going on a shooting rampage on an island. By the time the shooting ended, the bomb and his guns had claimed 77 victims, with hundreds more wounded. To mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks, I spoke to Vegard Gröslie Wennesland, who spent some of his childhood growing up in Dublin, about that day. Vegard was on Utoeya and witnessed several of the murders before barricading himself in a building with dozens of others. He also speaks about the intervening decade in Norwegian politics and beyond, how Breivik's views have become mainstream and what needs to be done to reverse this course.
July 19, 2021
Fighting, Writing And Coming Out - Meatball Molly McCann
Molly McCann was always a little bit different, but she didn't always want to be. A fantastic athlete, she excelled at football and now competes in mixed martial arts in the UFC'a flyweight division, but she struggled to come to terms with her sexuality. The result is a new book, "Be True To You", which tells the story of her path to coming out in a way that young people can understand and relate to, especially if they feel the same way.
July 15, 2021
Fighting To Stay In The Game - Petesy Carroll On MMA Journalism During The Pandemic
Petesy Carroll is the best MMA journalist in Europe, but even he was on the ropes due to the pandemic. He's back with a new deal that has seen him park his pen and fire up his mic as things return to normal in a sport that has never described itself in that way.
July 07, 2021
A Danish Football Fairytale - Audio Diary From Euro 2020
Behind the scenes in Copenhagen on the day of Denmark's must-win game against Russia at Euro 2020.
June 22, 2021
Inside The Night Christian Eriksen's Heart Stopped
On Saturday night we watched live as a man died and was brought back to life on a football field in Copenhagen. A few days later I tried to relive that night to find out what, if anything, we learned.
June 16, 2021
Euro 2020 Part 3 - Sweden Striker Isak Set For Euro Breakthrough
For the third and final pre-Euro 2020 podcast, I spoke to my favourite Swedish-Spanish reporter Alexandra Jonson about her native country and our expectation that we have seen the future of Swedish football, and its name is Alexander Isak.
June 10, 2021
Euro 2020 Part 2 - Denmark Dream Of A New '92
In the second of three pre-Euro 2020 podcasts, I talk to Danish Footy editor Claus Røndbjerg about Denmark's chances, the current and recent coach and players, and THAT tournament victory back in 1992, the one that enabled every small nation to dream the big dreams.
June 04, 2021
Euro 2020 Part 1 - Finland Finally Arrive With Ronan Browne
The first of three podcasts focusing on the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament from a Nordic perspective. Journalist, documentary-maker and self-described football dreamer Ronan Browne joins me from Tampere to talk about football in Finland, making the finals of a major tournament for the first time, and what the world can expect from them.
June 02, 2021
Zionism, Israel and Palestine - Jacob Woolf
The recent violence in Gaza and the resulting hot takes landing like Scud missiles all over the discourse prompted me to contact Jacob Woolf, an Irish-Jewish man who is someone I always feel I can learn from. We talked about Zionism, antisemitism, the moderate view, competing rights and what a fair solution in Palestine might look like.
May 20, 2021
Arabian Nights - Living In Qatar With David O'Leary
With the World Cup in Qatar coming up, there's a lot of discussion around sport, human rights and life in the Middle East. David O'Leary lived in Qatar for four years, working on infrastructure projects, some of which are related to the World Cup. I asked him about his life there and the life of those on the building sites, and how the country is opening up in a way that is perhaps not recognisable to western eyes.
May 13, 2021
Sock Puppets, The Gammonati And Whistleblowers
In a week that has been a podcast producer's nightmare, two stories stuck in my mind - that of Eoghan Harris and his sock puppet account, and how a Swedish healthcare whistleblower who should have been treated like a hero was called "illoyal" by her employer. That led to this rant, and it only occurred to me at the very end that, though they are very different, they are actually about the same fundamental things.
May 07, 2021
Saving Sport From Itself - Seán Sheehan
From the Super League to Jake Paul's boxing career, sport has been letting me down lately. I spoke to Pod God Seán Sheehan to get him to restore my faith in what is - or should be - a glorious and indispensable part of our lives.
April 30, 2021
Surprise, Hypocrisy And The Super League Rocking Soccer
Finally, soccer's Super League has announced itself, and the only surprise is that people are surprised. The somersaulting hypocrisy is not just limited to ex-pros and broadcasters either - we all bear some share of the blame...
April 19, 2021
Peace Comes Dropping Slow - What's Really Going On In Northern Ireland With Emma De Souza
Is the recent violence in Northern Ireland a return to the dark days, or a once-off in a relatively stable piece? Writer Emma De Souza joins me to put it all in context.
April 13, 2021
Taking Aim At the Drug Cheats - Sebastian Samuelsson
In 2018 I interviewed biathlete Sebastian Samuelsson, and hours after it was published he started to get death threats. The young Swede spoke out about doping in his sport and not everyone was OK with that - especially not Russian fans, whose athletes weren't allowed to compete under their own flag at the Olympics due to the situation there. He joined me to talk about speaking out, winning gold in Pyeongchang and the young Swedish team of sharpshooters that is electrifying the sport.
March 29, 2021
Qatar Boycotts And Zlatan Returns - Johanna Franden
There is increasing support for a boycott of the Qatar World Cup among Scandinavian soccer fans, and one leading journalist has already decided that she won't be taking part - Johanna Franden joins me to talk sportswashing and the return to the Swedish national team of a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
March 23, 2021
Why Not Her - Linda Coogan Byrne On Radio And Representation
Turn on your radio in Ireland and you'll hear some of the best music anywhere in the world - but it will most likely be by a man. Linda Coogan Byrne started "Why Not Her?" to get an answer to that very simple questions - why do Irish female artists only get a fraction of the airplay they deserve? She spoke to me about anonymous veiled threats, the truth of the data and what needs to change for inequality to become a thing of the past.
March 09, 2021
Nothing About Us Without Us - Noah Halpin On Trans Healthcare
Healthcare for transgender people is coming up short in many European countries, Ireland among them. For the most part, non-trans people know very little about the current situation and the effect that it is having on the lives and health of thousands of people. As a community aid officer at Transgender Equality Network Ireland Noah Halpin is an advocate and activist trying to help other trans people to get the care they need, and a willing vocal presence in the discussion. I got him to teach me a few lessons on the subject, and I came away far more enlightened than when I started.
March 03, 2021
No Country for Covid Critics? Keith Begg On MEWAS And Speaking Out In Sweden
Keith Begg and 200 others critical of Sweden's Covid-19 mitigation strategy had a private Facebook group where they aired their opinions and discussed what to do about it. A media report about the group shot the Irishman, who is also a Swedish citizen, into the public eye, and not in a good way; described as everything from a traitor to a threat to national security, he received a threat at his home and has now left Sweden.
February 22, 2021
Handshakes, Hands On Hearts And How A Tweet Exploded
A throwaway tweet of mine went viral this week, prompting hundreds of replies and millions of views, but at the same time drowning out any possibility of real engagement. What have I learned from it? You can find out here...
February 18, 2021
Manufacturing Dissent? Sweden Hits Back At Covid Critics
A frankly bizarre story attacking critics of Sweden's Covid-19 strategy appeared yesterday, in which the 200 members of a closed Facebook group were all but accused of treason. The publishing of the story and the response to it says more about Sweden's national state of mind than it might wish to admit, and I was joined by epidemiologist and public health expert David Steadson to talk about the current state of play. You can read or listen to the original story here:
February 10, 2021
Panorama Goes For Kinahan KO - Kieran Cunningham
Professional boxing has always had its share of dodgy characters but the sport has never faced anything like Daniel Kinahan. A man named in Irish courts as being one of the biggest gangland figures in Europe is effectively an agent and advisor for some of the biggest names in the game - and there is a lot of silence around his burgeoning influence. A recent BBC Panorama documentary brought his name to the fore - but will it change anything in boxing?
February 02, 2021
Forbidden Fruits, The Free Press And Fight Island
My first journey abroad in ten months took me to Abu Dhabi in the Middle East to cover a sporting event, where I discovered the real winners and losers can be measured in terms of how free they are to express themselves.
January 27, 2021
New Year, New You - Food, Fitness And Feeling Good With Paul Redmond
It's that time of the year when articles and social media posts are trying to shame us off the sofa and into the gym, using the extra weight gained over lockdown or Christmas as a stick to beat us with. Many of us try different things to lose weight and get fit every year, but all too often we fail, which ends up feeling even worse. I spoke to professional fighter and all-round good guy Paul Redmond about foot and training, the difference between cutting weight and losing it, and how we need to educate ourselves about nutrition if we want to succeed.
January 12, 2021
Coup In The Capitol - Sulome Anderson On What Next For America
An attempted coup in the seat of America's democracy finally brought the media's focus onto the far right and what it is capable of, and the final days of Trump's presidency will be a damage limitation exercise as the world scrambles to orient itself to a new normal. But will the forces that fostered his failure of a presidency just fade away? Journalist and conflict reporter Sulome Anderson, who has seen many's the "strongman" rise and fall in the Middle East,  joined me to talk it over.
January 08, 2021
Christmas Special - Having It All With Kevin Walker
With parallel careers as a professional footballer and a pop star, Swedish-Irish Kevin Walker looks to have it all. His league and cup titles sit alongside his best-selling albums as major achievements that most would be envious of, but his success has come about as a result of a lifetime of hard work and overcoming a bout of blood poisoning that almost killed him. Yet again his career is at a crossroads, so we sat down for a pre-Christmas chat about sibling rivalry, singing with Robbie Williams and scoring goals in packed stadiums.
December 21, 2020
Can Journalism Survive Covid?
As 2020 puts on its coat and heads for the door, it leaves behind one story which has dwarfed all others this year - the Covid-19 pandemic. Many businesses and workers have been hit, and amongst the worst affected has been journalism. But while some of the ill effects have been down to the pandemic, many were simply magnifications of broken business models and mismanagement that still plague the media business. Ewan MacKenna joins me to discuss whether or not the Fourth Estate can ever recover. 
December 14, 2020
La Política Y La Pelota - Remembering Diego Maradona
Almost a week has past since Argentinian icon Diego Maradona died of a heart attack, sparking a period of grief and mourning around the world as a man who transcended sport - and sometimes life itself - was lost to us. Having been named after him, Diego Abatecola idolised Maradona as much as any other football fan, and he joined me from Buenos Aires to talk to me about the void left by the passing of a legend.
December 01, 2020
WIth The World At Her Feet - Emma Coolen On Football's Epiphanies
Emma Coolen is a football-loving multimedia producer whose social media skills landed her a dream job with the Dutch team at the Women's World Cup in France - what few people knew was that her other dream was to play for them. After changing her life at the age of 20 she was well on the road to a professional career when another dream opportunity came up as part of a BT Sport TV series about women's football, but as Oscar Wilde once said, there are two tragedies in life - one is not getting what you want, and the other is getting it...
November 26, 2020
Waking The Winner Within - Pannie Kianzad
As a kid Pannie Kianzad wasn't one for team sports, preferring the solitude of the swimming pool to more social setting of the soccer pitch. And when she and her girlfriends were trying to find a way to keep fit, she didn't let their lukewarm feelings for trying out boxing turn her off - she went along and tried it by herself, and it has taken her all the way to a career as a professional mixed martial artist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
November 17, 2020
On Eagle's Wings - Noel Rock On What's Next For Joe Biden's America
A former intern for then-senator Hilary Clinton back in 2006, Noel Rock was elected to Ireland's parliament but retained his interest in American politics, and he joined me to pick over the results, the rhetoric and the road to recovery in the wake of what turned out to be a presidential election for the ages.
November 08, 2020
When Hope And History Just Might Rhyme - US Election Special With Stephanie Brumsey And Áine O'Neill
As America still counts its votes, I sought the counsel of two women in the media that I have enormous respect for - Áine O'Neill, an Irishwoman who has recently moved to Los Angeles, and Stephanie Brumsey, a Black journalist who works in New York and covered the Trump inauguration. They told me what the atmosphere is like on both coasts, and how - still - hope of a better future is what will help us endure.
November 06, 2020
Cheap Beer And Child Brides - Johanna Karlsson On Lifting The Lid On The Malmö Restaurant Business
As a teenager Johanna Karlsson got so far under the skin of a local newspaper editor that he gave her an album to review to see if she could do it better. Turned out she could, and thus a career in journalism was born. Johanna has always taken the road less travelled, and one of her best-known stories centred on the restaurant business in Malmö and how power, money and influence rooted in the restaurants of the city's Möllevången district echoed all the way Bangladesh. It was a spicy tale of cheap beer, child brides and marriages of convenience, but ultimately it was about the price people seeking a better life would be prepared to pay. For some, it would be very high indeed.
October 26, 2020
Hoop Dreamer - Jonas Jerebko On Steph, Kobe And Life In The NBA
For ten years Sweden's Jonas Jerebko carved out a career as one of the 450 players in the toughest, most competitive basketball league in the world - the NBA. A gritty, hard-scrabble player as a rookie, he added a silky outside shot and became a key part of teams that made it to the conference finals in both the East and the West, and he came tanatalisingly close to winning a championship ring with the Golden State Warriors. Now playing for Khimki in Russia, he talks about playing with some of the greats, the passing of Kobe Bryant and how he's still in the game to win that elusive ring...
October 20, 2020
Stories From Unquiet Graves - Sean Murray On Documentary-Making In Northern Ireland
The history of Northern Ireland is bloody, complicated and understood by few, and it has often been told by outsiders. No longer. Documentary-maker Seán Murray tells the stories of his community in West Belfast, talking to the victims of violence and exposing the bigotry, brutality and sheer bloody-mindedness that was at the heart of the conflict. Yet in an era where much crowing is done about freedom of speech, many don't want to hear the voices that Seán brings us from their unquiet graves. So what are they trying to keep from us?
October 07, 2020
Maybe You'll Never Go Away - Joe Rooney On Revisiting The Music Of Guernica, 30 Years On
Dublin in the late 80s was a hotbed of creativity and, for a while at least, no band was hotter than Guernica. Starting out in the mould of Joy Division and New Order, they morphed into a powerful live band driven by guitars and synths, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Darragh Broe on drums and Derek Lee on bass. At the mic stand was Joe Rooney, who later later find fame as a comedian and actor, but back then he was an enigmatic frontman and with a stunning album in the can, the band were seemingly destined for great things. A sudden split brought that dream crashing down, and the reverberations still echo sometimes in the lives of those who were part of the story. Back then I was a teenage hangaround who idolised Darragh, Joe and the lads, and when I heard that now, over 30 years later, that never-released album may finally see the light of day, I had to talk to Joe to fill in some of the blanks of a story. For all its disappointment and tragedy, it was and is an electrifying and inspiring tale that left us with music and memories. Even though Darragh passed away in 2009, his son David - also a drummer - is a driving force in ensuring that the world is reminded of his father and of that brief, glorious time when Dublin could lay claim to being the creative capital of the world.
October 01, 2020
The Seven Deadly Sins Of Modern Media & Journalism
As journalists and editors we have a terrible habit of making the same mistakes over and over and over again, especially when it comes to reporting on the far right. We think we are showing them up for the buffoons they are, but we are actually giving legitimacy to ideas that should have been dead and buried at the end of the second World War. This week's podcast outlines the seven deadly sins of modern media and journalism, from the Free Speech Fallacy to the Privilege Blanket and all points in between.
September 23, 2020
Lessons To Be Learned? Åsa Plesner On Sweden's Free - Market School Experiment
Long hailed as a paragon of social democracy, Sweden is one of the only countries in the world - perhaps the only - where limited companies can profit from running schools. In a free-market project based on schools vouchers that proved a step too far even for Augusto Pinochet's Chile, pupils are treated as customers and choice is paramount. But while all that sounds good to parents and indeed shareholders, who are banking millions in profits, the law of unintended consequences has had a hugely negative impact on a school system that was once among the world's best. Not only are the Social Democrats not doing anything to change the system, they are actually not allowed to talk about it at all thanks to the agreement that is keeping their weak government in power. Today's lesson is from Åsa Plesner and is a cautionary tale for what can happen when vital structures in society are opened up to the free market.
September 17, 2020
Tribal Fear On The Road To The White House
On the whole, fear is a good thing - it's what helps us stay alive in dangerous situations. But it's also used to manipulate how we think, how we feel - and how we vote. Arash Javanbakht is an associate professor at Wayne University, and he is an expert in fear, trauma and PTSD. He explained the nuts and bolts of fear to me, how it works in the tribal context and what that means for the upcoming American presidential election.
September 07, 2020
Politics, Power And The NBA - John Karalis
John Karalis of and the Locked On Celtics podcast joined me to talk about Black Lives Matter, the NBA bubble and how the players are exerting their power of American politics as the election approaches.
September 02, 2020
First Captain, Second Captain, Whatever - Ken Early
Covid has played havoc with the work of journalists, especially those of us involved in sports. I talked to Second Captains football kingpin Ken Early about nostalgia, crowd noise and having your calendar Tipp-Exed out of existence by the pandemic.
August 24, 2020
Outside It's America - The Prequel
As you will no doubt be aware, I'm trying to fund a project to do "Outside It's America," which is 50 podcasts from America's 50 states in 50 days, ending up in New York on polling day in the presidential election there. No-one likes to support something sight unseen (or indeed sound unheard!), so this week's podcast is something of a prequel - an interview I recorded a few years back with Angus McIntosh about America's love affair with guns. This is the kind of conversation I hope to be having in America in a few weeks' time, but I can only do it if you support the campaign on Kickstarter:…-states-50-days Have a great week!
August 19, 2020
A Heads - Up Before The World Turns Upside Down
A quiet few weeks is about to get a lot busier as a secret project reaches the starting gate - listen to find out more.
August 09, 2020
The Truth Behind Survivor Stories - Kamron Clarke
Reporting on sexual violence is complex and knowing who owns the story and what it means to them is key to doing it justice. Student journalist Kamron Clarke has written brilliantly about the phenomenon.
July 20, 2020
Beyond Representation - Wuraola Majekodunmi On The Black Irish Media Experience
The Black Lives Matter movement has made people of colour more visible and offered new opportunities for them to make their voices heard - is this a turning point, or a flash in the pan? Broadcaster and public speaker Wuraola Majekodunmi joined me to talk about how she sees modern Irish media and where it's headed.
July 07, 2020
Being There - Author Paul Howard On Covering Big Sporting Events
As a child Paul Howard dreamed of covering a World Cup - luckily for him, that dream came true as a journalist, but it turned out to be a lot different to what he expected. One of Ireland's most successful authors, Paul spoke to me to share some memories of covering sporting events around the globe...
June 21, 2020
Dear Fellow White Journalists
Some reflections on modern media, culture and "cancelling", and why racism is not a Black people problem - it's a white people problem, and it's ours to solve.
June 12, 2020
Foreign Correspondence - Heba Habib On Sweden, Covid And Differing Perspectives
Born in Cairo to a family of diplomats, Heba Habib got used to developing different perspectives. As a journalist now living in Sweden during the Covid -19 pandemic, she has observed the similarities and differences as societies she knows well struggle to cope for a variety of different reasons. She joined me in the #OMIS studio to talk about her work and how it is being affected by a world constantly changing.
June 11, 2020
Capturing The Canvas - Ester Lin On Fighting, Focusing And Fine Art
Among anyone who knows anything about MMA media, Esther Lin is widely acknowledged as the GOAT - the Greatest Of All Time - among combat sports photographers. Soft-spoken yet uber-competitive, she told me about her background as a documentary-maker, how she got into photography and how storytelling is an integral part of taking and making photos.
May 25, 2020
Shutterbug - Pulitzer Prize-Winner Kai Pfaffenbach On Photojournalism
Photographer Kai Pfaffenbach recently won a Nobel prize together with his Reuters colleagues for his coverage of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. He told me about being self-taught, surviving in the field, and how the art of taking a great news photo is sometimes as simple as being in the right place at the right time. 
May 22, 2020
First Drafts From The Barricades - Una Mullally On Writing History From The Inside
During a decade of social upheaval in Ireland, two referendums have been passed that have granted marriage equality to LGBT people and removed the constitutional ban on abortion. Una Mullally is an Irish journalist, podcaster and author who found herself thrust into the limelight, especially in the marriage equality debate, putting her in a somewhat unique position of documenting these historic changes while also playing a part in them.
May 11, 2020
Calling The Shots - MMA Commentator Brad Wharton
From a youthful fascination with wrestling and getting paid in beer to commentate to becoming the voice of Cage Warriors and calling the UFC London card, Brad Wharton's ability to make viewers feel the atmosphere has made him one of the sport's most sought-after men on the mic.  We spoke about how he got started, having empathy for those in the cage and what makes a great commentator in one of the world's fastest-growing sports. 
May 05, 2020
Building The Perfect Home Studio With Niall McGrath
There's a lot of people As the Covid-19 pandemic grips the globe, there's a lot of people working - including journalists, broadcasters, experts and interviewees, and the standard of set up has been, shall we say, less than brilliant.  With that in mind I spoke to sports broadcaster par excellence Niall McGrath, who is currently revamping his home studio, about how best to improve your home broadcasting set-up.  Whether you're being interviewed or into gaming or YouTubing, there's a wealth of information that will help you look and sound better and more professional - and it won't cost the earth (although it will if Niall has his way...!).  
April 14, 2020
Five Commandments For Dealing With Journalists
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, powerful people and their PR departments seem to be forgetting some basic things about journalists and journalism. Let's put that straight, shall we? 
April 11, 2020
Viva Espana - Sid Lowe On Football, Franco And Friendly Chats With Beckham
On the latest episode of the Our Man In Stockholm Podcast, I spoke to journalist and historian Sid Lowe about how he got started writing about football, coping in these Covid-19 times and making an impression on a certain Spice Girl's husband...
March 24, 2020
Show Your Stripes For 20x20 - Sarah Colgan
This week I talked to Sarah Colgan of 20x20, an initiative to raise the awareness of and participation in Irish sport - from modest beginnings, their campaign has really changed the game in Ireland, and there are definitely lessons that can be learned elsewhere. 
March 08, 2020
Media, Myths And Modern Antisemitism - Jacob Woolf
From 1930s cartoons depicting the Jews as sly, hooked-nosed figures to conspiracy theories about Mossad interfering in modern elections and the "Great Replacement", antisemitism may have morphed and changed over the years, but it has seemingly always been with us - and the media still struggles to deal with it.  There is a new, coded language in use, but the message remains the same - the Jews wield enormous power, but are not to be trusted.  With that in mind, I spoke to Jacob Woolf on his return from the World Jewish Congress in New York to find out exactly what modern antisemitism looks like and how it manifests itself in the modern media and political spheres.  In the interview he mentions the work of an organisation called Jews For Economic And Racial Justice - you can read their document "Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering To Our Movement" here.  
March 02, 2020
The 13 Ethical Rules Of Journalism
I got a delivery of some new podcast equipment this week, so to test it out I decided to go through the 13 ethical rules of journalism observed by the Swedish Union Of Journalists.  The sound may not be perfect just yet, but the 13 rules are well worth exploring, and I try to give practical examples of situations in which they might apply - and some of them will surprise you...
February 28, 2020
Transforming The Trans Discussion - Aoife Martin
Trans people and the issues facing them are one of the hottest cultural topics and/or battlefields we have at the moment, for a variety of reasons, and I for one don't mind admitting that I know so little about the subject that I'm embarrassed.  Rather than coming out with my own ill-informed hot takes and adding to the ever-grown pile of steaming manure that passes for mainstream media journalism on the subject, I decided - hang on to your hats here - to ask a trans person to explain some things to me first.  Aoife Martin is an Irish trans woman, activist and patient educator of the terminally ill-informed like myself, and I spoke to her about how we should be covering her life and the lives of people like her, and how best to respectfully engage. 
February 17, 2020
Creativity Against The Odds - Ken Robertson
Ken Robertson is the man who has created some of the most attention-grabbing and eye-catching marketing and advertising campaigns in history - there's barely a person in the UK, Ireland or beyond who hasn't been enthralled, appalled or both by his work during almost two decades coming up with campaigns for bookmakers Paddy Power.  Now the owner of a new agency in Dublin called The Tenth Man, I asked Ken to reflect on his life as an advertiser and marketer and about creativity, how it works and what is needed for it to survive and thrive. 
February 12, 2020
With The Accent On Change - Reflections On The Irish Election
The first of a number of podcasts this week, looking at the general reporting around the Irish election and how the accents of those speaking on TV and radio and the positions they hold tell us how broken our media is. 
February 10, 2020
Redemption Songs - Who Gets Forgiven In The Media, And Why?
Conor McGregor, Kobe Bryant and Rory Best have all been in the eye of the media storm in their careers, and all have been redeemed to some degree - but why do some get forgiven, and others not? Who decides when they are welcome back into the fold? And is there anything that is irredeemable in this modern media world? 
January 29, 2020
World Records And Wowing Las Vegas - Irish Musician Dave Browne
Guitar player Dave Browne is the greatest Irish musician you may never have heard of - despite the fact that he holds three Guinness world records and plays to countless thousands of people every year.  Born in Dublin and raised in Cuffe Street, the lightning-fingered Dub played all 50 American states in under 40 days together with singer and songwriter Dave Rooney, and a brilliant documentary about their escapade called "This Is My Home" will soon be hitting a screen near you.  I caught up with Dave in his local casino to talk about life and how he became one of the hardest-working musicians on the Las Vegas strip. 
January 20, 2020
New Year, New Beginnings
An update from somewhere between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with some thoughts on the passing of a mentor and an idea about how to change the Patreon model. 
January 16, 2020
Fact-checking, Fake News And A Possible Finnish Solution
"Russian interference" is a new thing for many democracies, but since independence the Finns have worried about other countries spreading disinformation and trying to manipulate their political system.  I spoke to Mikko Salo of Faktabaari about how the Finns are tackling the problem of "fake news" with fact-checking and education - whisper it, but their approach seems to be working... 
December 23, 2019
A Severe Passion For Sport, And 2019 In Review
There are many routes into journalism and not all of them go via formal training - Seán Sheehan (aka The Pod God, aka Seánie Podcast) has become one of the most respected and high-profile Irish sports podcasters through his passionate love of sport (especially MMA) and his unique ability to cause a row in an empty house.  A trained mathematician and economist, Seán is also working good numbers on the Patreon platform to keep the lights on at Severe MMA, so we spoke about passion, sport and trying to make money in journalism as we looked back at 2019.  
December 18, 2019
The Media's Role In An Election Of Feelings, Not Facts
Despite seemingly overwhelming evidence of their avarice and incompetence, the British voters have given the Conservative party an overall majority following their general election. Reflections on an election where feelings were far more important than facts. 
December 13, 2019
You Suck! John Karalis On Criticism And Being Criticised
NBA player Kyrie Irving caused a stir last week when he reacted to criticism from Boston fans over his off-season move to Brooklyn on Instagram. He might make millions of dollars a year playing a game, but that doesn't make him - or anyone else - immune from harsh words.  I talked to ex-basketball pro-turned-sports journalist John Karalis about living in that bubble, the responsibilities we have when it comes to critiquing performances, and how much criticism we ourselves must be prepared to take for our work. 
December 03, 2019
The OMIS Tapes Vol 3 - Former ABBA Guitarist Janne Schaffer
As the man behind the riffs on some of ABBA's most iconic hits, there is barely a person on the face of the earth who hasn't heard Janne Schaffer play guitar - but there's a whole lot more to the Stockholm fret king than just the pop songs loved by billions.  Almost five decades into a career that has seen him share a stage with everyone form Cliff Richard to Pink Floyd, the 74-year-old's passion for music and performing still burns as brightly as ever. We met in Stockholm where we talked about becoming one of Sweden's best-known and best-loved musicians, working with troubled geniuses like Ted Gärdestad and Cornelis Vreeswijk, and the moment he realised that ABBA were going to take over the world. 
November 25, 2019
Facing Down The Troll That Wished His Family Dead - Sami Koivisto
Every journalist with a byeline has been abused and threatened online, but few have come face to face with their abusers.  Sami Koivisto, a Finnish journalist with public service broadcaster YLE, has had more than his fair share of death threats that inspired fear in him and those close to him, but when police offered him the chance to meet one of those who had posted threatening messages, he took it.  This is what happened when he faced down the troll that wished his family dead. 
November 15, 2019
Is Free Speech Racist?
Every day, your newspapers and airwaves are full of angry contrarian commentators, all shouting over one another about how they are being silenced, but of course, "you can't say that in this country any more".  This is not unique to Ireland or England or Sweden; those demanding an "open and honest" debate (and who usually deliver anything but) are part of a broader movement using similar tactics to try to present their ideas without having them scrutinised or questioned.  Academic Gavan Titley joins me to talk about his upcoming book "Is Free Speech Racist?", which examines how this came to be, the forces driving it and what attempts to create a new crisis of free speech mean for the public discourse. 
November 11, 2019
Good Faith, Verification And Not Being Fooled By Nazis
Until the recent release of a private recording of hime being racist, anti-Semitic and generally losing his shit, Richard Spencer was the acceptable face of neo-Nazism. Newspapers wrote puff pieces, TV stations gave him a platform, all oblivious to the fact that he is one of Hitler's heirs apparent.  So what can journalists and editors do to avoid this happening again? One is to verify that people are who they say they are, and the other is to stop assuming that the people you are interviewing are acting in good faith when all the evidence points to the contrary.
November 04, 2019
Trials And Tribulations - Court Reporting With Sarah-Jane Murphy
While all journalism follows the same basic principles, court reporting is something of a special case - it requires sharp skills, an analytical mind and not least a working knowledge of the law and how it relates to your work as a reporter.  Sarah-Jane Murphy is one of Ireland's most skilled court reporters, and that should come as no surprise - a qualified solicitor with eight years of experience, she has a Master's in journalism from DCU and has covered some of the biggest trials in the country in the last number of years.  We talked about the practicalities of the job, the skills needed and what changes might need to be made to the law to ensure that justice can be seen to be done. 
October 29, 2019
Understanding Sourcing
When is it OK to use anonymous sources? Can they be trusted? And can we as journalists be trusted to make that call? When it comes to establishing who said what to whom, modern journalism has become the Wild West. Keen to preserve their contacts, journalists are granting anonymity to sources that don't truly deserve it.  The result is, at best, partisan reporting of certain issues in politics, sport and business - at worst, downright lies.  So how should sourcing work? Who deserves anonymity and who doesn't? And how do we tell the difference?  This podcast covers some of the things we all need to think about when evaluating the use and credibility of anonymous sources. 
October 23, 2019
A Woman Who Is One Of The Lads
Jo Kamenou describes herself as "one of the lads" at Bleacher Report Football - a woman in the previously male-dominated environment of sports journalism.  Forget the fact that fast-moving newsrooms are difficult enough places at the best of times. Even if things have improved in recent years, it's a tricky path to follow. Men often don't take kindly to women who know more about football or sport than them, but they're going to have to get used to it... We talked about how the most boring team in international football inspired her, what it's like to have a start-up culture in the newsroom and how she sees a future for herself - and many other women - behind a microphone. 
October 15, 2019
Greta Thunberg, Getting The Scoop And Giving Fair Warning
On the road again so this week's pod covers some issues that have cropped up recently in the media sphere - how very few people now writing about Greta Thunberg have any idea what they are talking about, what it's like to spend hours in the cold for a 12-minute video of a world news event, and why journalists have a responsibility to people they put in the spotlight. 
October 07, 2019
Never Forget - Telling The Story Of The Holocaust, 75 Years On
During a two-day seminar at the Auschwitz Museum I spoke to journalists and museum staff about the challenges of  telling the story of the Holocaust, 75 years after the camp, where over a million died in an industrial murder operation that was the epicentre of the effort to exterminate the entire Jewish people, was liberated.  It is a desperate, awful bleak place at times, but a look around the word tells us that little has changed - devious men still use the spectre of "the other" to grow and consolidate their power, just as Hitler did.  I asked a variety of journalists about their work, and why they felt they had to go to Auschwitz. There is also a recording of a seminar with press officer Pawel Sawicki about the media and how Auschwitz is portrayed, and what they do to keep their reputation intact and their story relevant.  One of the greatest books about the Holocaust is entitled "Hope Dies Last",  and that is what I left Auschwitz and Poland with - hope.  We can overcome the hatred that created this place, but it is an ongoing process, sometimes of education, sometimes a battle, but always with compassion.  If my constant posting and tweeting and writing about this subject over the last few days has upset or offended you that's fair enough, but I'm not one bit sorry.  The alternative is being silent, and I have seen where that leads.  I cannot and will not be part of it.
September 26, 2019
How 9-11 Changed The World Of Journalism
On this day 18 years ago we watched in horror as the Twin Towers collapsed live on television - and with them went many of the checks and balances of objective journalism. That parking of journalistic principles has paved the way for the events we say happening today around the world. This podcast features reflections on that day and what has changed since, and what to be aware of when consuming media following the resetting of our historical clock to 9/11/2001. 
September 11, 2019
The OMIS Tapes Vol 2 - Gaute Boerstad Sjaervoe
Gaute Boertad Sjaervoe was 16 years old when he saw two of his friends murdered by Anders Behring Breivik on July 22, 2011. Trapped on an island 40 kilometres outside of Oslo, he ran, but had several more brushes with the gunman who went on to kill 67 more people that day, the vast majority of them teenagers like Gaute.  He survived as Norway promised more love and more democracy as an antidote to the hatred of Breivik, but instead of being repulsed by him, the rhetoric of the murderer is now in common use in Norwegian politics.  Undaunted by his traumatic experience, Gaute is still very much involved in the youth wing of the Labour party, and on a late summer afternoon in Trondheim he told me the story of what happened that day - and what has happened to Norway since. 
September 02, 2019
The Search For Dawit Isak - Martin Schibbye
Over the last 17 years I have gotten married, had a family and built a career in media for myself - all that time, Dawit Isak has been sitting in a cell in Eritrea in the most appalling conditions, imprisoned without trial for his journalism.  I spoke to journalist and author Martin Schibbye - who was himself shot, arrested and spent 438 days in the Kality prison in Ethiopia while trying to report there - about his new book "The Search For Dawit Isak" and what the future holds for freedom of speech in a part of the world that is struggling to find peace. 
August 29, 2019
The Psychology Of Social Media
Whether we like it or not, social media is now an inherent part of the wider media, and journalists, editors and consumers need to understand the role it plays in disseminating news and information.  But there is also a deeply personal element to how we interact online, so I spoke to academic Ciarán McMahon about his new book "The Psychology Of Social Media" to tease out some of the strands of social networking, how we present and perceive ourselves there and where all this is leading us in the 21st century. 
August 20, 2019
Shout To The Top - Zainab Boladale
As a child Zainab Boladale would pretend to read the news by grabbing a paper and making things up based on the pictures she saw, and ever since she has wanted to be a journalist.  She made her way from Co. Clare on Ireland's west coast through one of the country's best journalism programs and on into the hallowed halls of public service broadcaster RTE where she has been a huge success - but as a woman of colour from a not-exactly-privileged background, it hasn't always been easy.  She told me about her route to the top, and where she's headed next. 
August 13, 2019
The #OMIS Tapes Vol 1 - Gunnar Nelson
A new podcast series on the same feed, featuring interviews with some of the interesting people I meet on my travels.  First up is a recent conversation I had in Reyjavik with Gunnar Nelson - a fighter, a father and a man not to be trifled with at daycare... 
August 02, 2019
Saving Private Hannes - Iceland's Goalkeeper On Going Behind The Camera
Hannes Halldorsson is not just a top-class international goalkeeper for Iceland - he's a scriptwriter, movie-maker and director back operating in a small national market where budgets are tight and dreams are big.  I spoke to him in Reykjavik about making ends meet in the movie business when he's not between the sticks. 
July 29, 2019
Assange, Activism And Archiving the Internet - Birgitta Jonsdottir
Together with Julian Assange and Wikileaks, activist and "poetician" Birgitta Jonsdottir turned the world on its head by releasing the "Collateral Murder" video, which featured the slaying of two Reuters journalists by American forces in Baghdad, Iraq.  Jonsdottir may have ended her association with Wikileaks but her commitment to art, activism and politics is still as strong as ever, and I met her in Reykjavik to talk to her about her life and work, as well as the importance of the Internet archives for journalists as a tool to hold the powerful to account. 
July 22, 2019
Living Life Looking Over Your Shoulder - Karim Zidan On Covering Sport And Politics
I have met almost every MMA journalist at one time or another, but not Karim Zidan - then I realised that the reason he doesn't attend events is that his writing about sport and politics, and in particular about MMA and some of the former Soviet republics - means that it's not safe for him to attend.  In a world powered by social media, blogs and fan-generated content, Karim's work in untangling the web of "sportswashing" is absolutely crucial to understanding how and why tyrants use athletes  like Mohamed Salah and Khabib Nurmagomedov to rebrand themselves and their regimes. 
July 09, 2019
Owning It - Crisis Communication With Jack Murray
When it comes to media, marketing and journalism, Media HQ CEO Jack Murray has done and seen it all.  A former political advisor and government spokesperson, he has been in the room as some of the biggest Irish political scandals of the last two decades have gone down. Many senior politicians have wisely acted on his advice, and many more have lived to regret not doing so.  His Media HQ business is now the leading publisher of media intelligence in Ireland and the biggest organiser of media training events, and he offers PR and media training for all manner of companies, brands and NGOs at all levels.  (He's also the best writer of press releases that I know, but that's beside the point).  I spoke to Jack about crisis communication and asked him who do politicians turn to when it all goes wrong, what "The Golden Hour" means in PR terms, and is honesty always - or ever - the best policy when you're fighting for your political life? 
July 03, 2019
For The Love Of the Game - Ann Odong
Long before the glossy production and the fan zones, long before the slick social media presence and the souvenir stores in host cities, Ann Odong and her friends were covering women's soccer.  A lawyer and journalist, she essentially used her profession to fund her obsession, often allowing her heart to rule her head, and she has finally been reaping some reward as a digital content producer for FIFA at the Women's World Cup.  She told me about making the athletes visible, how to build trust and how she came to shoot one of the most viral videos of the tournament with the Nigerian team. 
June 25, 2019
Chaos Is A Friend - Sportswriting With Ewan MacKenna
Summer is a time when sport takes over and who better to talk to than Irish-born, Brazilian-based sportswriter Ewan MacKenna? Often dismissed as a professional contrarian, Ewan's writing and workflow is both deep and complex, showing us things about our heroes and ourselves that sometimes we'd rather not see - so what's it like to be on the receiving end of such negative attention? What is his agenda? And how did he manage to write a book about Conor McGregor without a single word form the man himself?  Find out all these things and more in this episode. 
June 18, 2019
Five Pitfalls To Avoid When Covering Women's Sports
With the sudden - and very welcome - interest form media outlets in the Women's World Cup, many reporters whose beat is normally men's soccer find themselves putting their shoulders to the wheel to cover it. Here's five pitfalls to avoid when writing about women in sports. 
June 10, 2019
Free speech, hate speech and over-reach with Jodie Ginsberg
The Index on Censorship are the watchdog that ensures that you and I can exercise our freedom of speech, and they kick up an almighty fuss about those places in the world that don't allows us to do that.  But the recent rise of far-right hate speech, boosted and amplified on social media, has proved a danger to our democracies and our most basic human rights - so in these battle for rights, who wins out in the end?  I spoke to IoC CEO Jodie Ginsberg, a vastly-experienced journalist who now leads the campaign to keep free speech free. 
June 03, 2019
Election Reflections - Three Takeaways From The European And Local Elections And Ireland's Divorce Referendum
Why journalists should never be surprised by election outcomes, the end for private religious fundamentalist lobby groups in Ireland's public debate, and a perfect example of how no-platforming benefits democracy. 
May 29, 2019
Reporting On The Climate Crisis With Alister Doyle
As teenagers around the world skip school to protest the destruction of the planet and a  "Green Wave" sweeps through European politics, I spoke to veteran environmental correspondent Alister Doyle about how to report on the climate crisis. We talked about everything from landing on now-disappeared ice shelves in the Antarctic and dealing with Texan cranks to why climate science skeptics are really deniers trying to sow doubt, and how environmental journalism is key to helping the world understand the scale of a crisis that threatens us all. 
May 28, 2019
Tales From The Locker Room With The Athletic's Jay King
Sports media is a beast that mus be constantly fed with news, views and comment, and nowhere is that more true in America, where seasons bleed into one another in a never-ending carousel of coverage.  The quality of the coverage (on both sides of the pond) is often dependent on access to the athletes themselves, and on them being willing to tell their stories. European sports are becoming more and more restrictive with this access in the belief that "less is more", while in the States you can wander into a locker room and talk to any of the multimillionaires you find there.  Jay King is the beat writer about the Boston Celtics for The Athletic, and he told me about his day-to-day work, what it's like dealing with these millionaires every day and how building relationships is at the heart of his job. 
May 20, 2019
Sarah Maria Griffin - Reading, Writing And Finding Your Voice
Sarah Maria Griffin is a novellist and poet who effortlessly flits between the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, engaging in occasional (and often regular) acts of journalism. Her approach to writing and her thoughts around how we express ourselves are well worth a listen for any journalist or writer trying to find their own unique voice.  
May 14, 2019
Sound & Vision - Linear Vs Digital Video
The way we consume video has changed, but the old way is not dead yet - what do we need to consider when shooting for mobile devices and linear TV? Is there a difference in how stories are told and presented? What factors need to be taken into account when selecting our shots? 
May 07, 2019
Radio Head - Pat O'Mahony On The Wonderful World Of Audio Broadcasting
I love radio. It's where I started, and if forced to choose, it's what I'd do full time.  And one of the most creative, knowledgeable and smartest people I've met in the field is Irish producer/presenter/all-rounder Pat O'Mahony. Amid an audio background of seagulls, leaf-blowers and passers-by, we sat down in Dublin for a coffee recently to discuss what makes it such a great medium to work in and what you need to succeed. 
April 29, 2019
Learning from Lyra McKee
Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead while covering disturbances in Derry last week, and today she will be buried after her funeral in Belfast.  What can journalists and in particular editors learn from her life and her untimely passing? How can we keep freelancers safer while still reporting from dangerous situations? 
April 24, 2019
Copyright, Copywrong - How To Not Steal From Freelancers
Over the weekend a broadcaster in Ireland came under fire for apparently using audio belonging to a freelance journalist without her permission.  Though they have since agreed to pay her for her work, the case illustrates the laissez-faire many media houses have towards the copyright of freelancers.  This podcast is a brief rundown of what freelance work is, who owns it (spoiler - them, not you), and what to do if you find something using it without your permission. 
April 08, 2019
Fash Boys, Facebook And Freedom Of Speech
As Ireland's far-right desperately tries to get off the ground and the tech giants are once again in the firing line for giving them a platform to spread hatred, I spoke to journalist and academic Niamh Kirk about information networks, regulation, and what free speech actually means in the digital age. 
April 02, 2019
How Sourcing In Stories Is Key To Credibility
When writing or broadcasting, journalists have a responsibility to tell you how they got to know what they know - and if they don't explain it properly, you have no way of knowing if you can believe them or not. 
March 27, 2019
What's in your bag, Christian Payne?
Apart form a sharp mind and some tough questions, the most important thing for any journalist is the contents of the bag slung over their shoulder - choose well and you can tell any story, anywhere in the world, for hours at a time without running out of power. Choose badly, and you can end up talking to yourself while history is made in front of you.  Christian Payne (aka @Documentally) is a former professional photographer who now tells stories in any medium you can mention, and he is forever pushing the boundaries of what is possible to bring recipients as close as they can to the action.  When not teaching others how to capture the world around him he can be found in his shed writing, sipping a good whiskey and endlessly packing and repacking his bag  while dreaming up new ways to tell stories. 
March 11, 2019
OMIS Live In Dublin - Sport, Spin And Seeing The Future With Dion Fanning
Dion Fanning was one of Ireland's most well-known sports journalists when he suddenly stepped away from the Sunday Independent and into the wild online world of Joe. In doing so he left behind much of his past, moving on from writing about sport to working with video and long-form interviews.  We talked about coming from Irish newspaper royalty, annoying Roy Keane, Pele's problem when discussing erectile dysfunction in conference calls and what the future holds for both sports coverage and journalism in general.
February 22, 2019
OMIS Live In Dublin - The Price Of Speaking Out With Dil Wickremasinghe
When a presenter on Newstalk said that women might bear some of the blame if they get raped, he was suspended and eventually reinstated - but when Dil Wickremasinghe criticised him and the station, she was sacked and her show cancelled.  Her emails to RTE suggesting she taker her "Global Village" show - a calm oasis of diversity in a sea of click-bait and bile - went unanswered.  Now a trainee psychotherapist, Dil joined me at the International Bar in Dublin for a gripping discussion about her career as a broadcaster, the circumstances surrounding her departure and how diversity in the media is not - and cannot be - treated as a box-ticking exercise. 
February 22, 2019
OMIS Live In Dublin - Margaret E. Ward On Diversity On Air
A small but dedicated group attended the first-ever live OMIS podcast in Dublin, and for almost an hour they listened to journalist, broadcaster and communications consultant Margaret E Ward talk about diversity, media capture, the effects of journalism on vulnerable people and a whole lot more besides. 
February 18, 2019
OMIS - The Story of The Hurricane Tapes
Why make a one-hour radio documentary when you can make a six-and-a-half-hour podcast series spanning 13 episodes about infamous boxer Ruben "Hurricane" Carter and his wrongful conviction for murder?  I spoke to BBC sports journalist and broadcaster Steve Crossman about how the discovery of 40 hours of taped conversations with Ruben Carter finally gave the "Hurricane" the chance to tell his own story - a story of poverty, racism, violence, and almost 20 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. 
February 11, 2019
We Need To Talk About Framing
Framing is a term we use in journalism when we decide what you could call the “terms of reference” for a story - and how you do it is of vital importance. 
January 22, 2019
Danny Robins on jokes, Johnny Cash and trying to laugh at Brexit
Danny Robins is one of the finest comedy scriptwriters and documentary-makers I know - my fellow freelancer is also married to a Swede in what is an uncertain time both professionally and politically for us all.  I met him last week on what is most likely my final visit to the UK before Brexit, and on my return to Sweden I called him up to talk about his background in comedy, his brilliant audio documentary about Johnny's Cash's legendary gig at Folsom Prison, and humour might help us to both explain and navigate the times that we live in. 
January 18, 2019
Sporting Sisters Doing It For Themselves
Women's sport might be getting more and more space in the media, but there is still a lot to do - I spoke to producer Elaine Buckley about her efforts to raise the profile of female athletes and what fans and journalists can do to help. 
January 06, 2019
News photography - now and in the future
A picture is worth ... what, exactly?  Photojournalism is powerful, immediate and perhaps more undervalued than ever before - but it is no less important.  I spoke to Dylan Martinez, Reuters Chief Photographer in the UK and Ireland, about how he got started, the life of the agency photographer and what the future holds for this vitally important form of journalism. 
December 31, 2018
Nowhere Left To Run - The Story of Hind Aleryani
What would you do if an article you wrote led to Al Qaeda threatening to kill you? Yemeni citizen Hind Aleryani left the safety and security of a job with the UN to become a journalist and activist concentrating on the rights of women and children, but after criticising religious extremists she was forced to flee to Sweden - but the "humanitarian super-power" with the self-proclaimed feminist government has already turned its back on her and is threatening to deport her and her traumatised daughter. I spoke to Hind about her life, her journalism and what needs to be done to protect and promote much-needed female voices in and from the Middle East.
December 18, 2018
Reporting On Rape And Sexual Violence
An allegation that an Irish athlete raped a woman in a Dublin hotel has set tongues wagging, and though little is known about the case, plenty of people are sharing wild theories on social media as editors and reporters chase the details. I spoke to Noeline Blackwell, lawyer and chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, about how the media handles the cases that come before the courts, and what can be done to make a traumatic experience less damaging for those involved.
December 15, 2018
OMIS - Why Footballers Never Say Anything Interesting With Bojan Djordjic
Most interviews with professional athletes these days are very guarded affairs. They spend almost as much time on media training as they do in the gym - but are journalists in part to blame for them being so boring? I talked to ex-Manchester United, Rangers, Red Star Belgrade and AIK midfielder Bojan Djordjic about his work on both sides of the microphone - first as a high-profile player in big clubs, and now as an analyst tasked with studying some of his former team-mates.
December 06, 2018
The pros and cons of naming and shaming
What would the coverage of the Belfast rape trial have looked like if we didn't know Paddy Jackson was involved? And was the public interest served, given that he was found not guilty? In Sweden, it's highly unlikely that Jackson's name would have been known before the trial, but I compare it to a recent court case around match-fixing in soccer to tease out some of the issues.
November 30, 2018
Episode 12 - Whitney Phillips
I spoke to American academic Whitney Phillips about how the media's attempts to do the right thing in reporting on the far right have backfired spectacularly - instead, it has ended up providing endless fuel for their fire. She outlines some of the ways in which they can be handled by journalists - not least by shifting the focus from the aggressors to their intended targets. You can read her full report here:
November 02, 2018
OMIS Episode 11 - Clara Rose Thornton
Middle Ireland recently got a jolt of what it is like when the far right stick their head above the parapet in the form of presidential candidate Peter Casey, but for journalists and women of colour like Clara Rose Thornton, they've always been there. I spoke to her about race, gender and how power is exerted over minorities by and through the media, and what can be done to change it - and the power of the spoken word comes out on top once again.
November 01, 2018
Episode 10 - John Connors, anti-Traveller racism and the Irish presidential election
In the wake of a presidential campaign that saw a candidate go from one percent to 21 percent by attacking Travellers and welfare recipients, I spoke to actor, writer and director John Connors about being on the receiving end of racism as a political tactic.
October 27, 2018
OMIS Episode 9 - Joe Brolly
Outside of Ireland, barrister, columnist and broadcaster Joe Brolly could walk down the street almost entirely unmolested - at least he could, until he wrote about how he wanted to see professional mixed martial arts banned. On social media at least, all hell broke loose. I was one of those who disagreed with him, so I asked him to talk to me about his journalism and the arguments he made in two articles that illustrated the power of certain columnists to tell us not what to think, but what to think about.
October 26, 2018
OMIS Episode 8 - Johanna Franden
In this week's episode I speak to Johanna Franden about breaking into a male-dominated world, being a soccer pundit on the trail of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Barcelona and Paris, and why a second language can be vital to a freelancer...
October 15, 2018
The Heat on the Beat - the battle to cover UFC 229 in Las Vegas
I talk to Niall McGrath in the middle of the maelstrom that is covering a Conor McGregor fight in the UFC.
October 05, 2018
I'm in Las Vegas for UFC 229, so here's a little bonus material to keep you going. A few years ago I went to a firing range to find out why America loves guns, and I had a clear idea in my mind about what I wanted to do. It didn't turn out that way. Instead, it turned into this mini-documentary which, for the most part, is a conversation with a man called Angus. Angus is warm and friendly with a booming laugh and a passionate desire to uphold the Second Amendment, so rather than argue with him, I decided to listen to what he had to say. He is currently recovering from a serious illness and I hope to see him while I'm here - in the meantime, have a listen. Our conversation is never going to solve a seemingly intractable American problem, but it sure helped me understand it better.
October 04, 2018
Name Your Price - The Value of Journalism
What should you be getting paid for your work? What do you do if you don't get it? And is it ever wise to work for free? Ahead of a big week in Las Vegas for Conor McGregor's fight, I wrestle with some of the questions freelancers all over the world want answers to.
September 30, 2018
Episode 7 - Eamon Dunphy
Eamon Dunphy is a former footballer and one of the most controversial figures in Irish life. His work as a journalist and broadcaster is sometimes derided as sensationalist and provocative, but his sharp intellect and insatiable hunger for knowledge and ideas have reshaped Irish media and caused others to raise their game considerably. I spoke to him about his four decades in the media industry, and how if he was starting out today, he reckons never would have made it...
September 26, 2018
Episode 6 - Andrew Downie
You don't have to be Scottish to go to Brazil and tell them the story of one of their greatest football icons, but it helps... Andrew Downie is a journalist and author based in Sao Paolo who has written a brilliant biography about Socrates, the doctor-philosopher-footballer who shaped an era in one of the most-loved teams of all time. He also has extensive experience of reporting in conflict zones and works for the Committee to Protect Journalists - I asked him if being a Hibernian fan prepared him for such a challenging life in the field...
September 17, 2018
How Not To Cover An Election
Judging by the international coverage, Sweden's election was a referendum on immigration - but while it was indeed a factor, much of the tunnel-vision journalism that was produced was amateurish, ill-informed and obscured the real driving forces behind how the ballots were cast.
September 10, 2018
Our Man In Stockholm Episode 5 - Graham Linehan
Long before he gave us so the rib-shatteringly funny comedy that was Father Ted, Graham Linehan was an almost accidental journalist treading the dark, rainy streets of Dublin, reviewing gigs and albums and harbouring dreams of becoming being Woody Allen. I talked ot him about how he fell into journalism, what he learned about how to communicate from it, and what it's like to live your life in the public eye. (We spoke over Google Hangouts, which is among the top two crappiest pieces of technology known to man, so apologies for some of the sound quality on this episode.)
September 03, 2018
Our Man In Stockholm Episode 4 - Suzy Byrne
Journalists often find themselves having to cover subjects like disability, racism and LGBT rights. These are subjects in which they have no direct personal experience, and the language they use has the power to cause immense damage. Suzy Byrne is a well-known Irish campaigner for both disability and LGBT rights, and I talked to her about what journalists can do to improve how they frame their subjects and stories, how they should think about the language they use, and what can be done to make sure minority voices are heard and seen - and not just in relation to their minority status.
August 27, 2018
Our Man In Stockholm Episode 3 - Christian Christiansen
With the Swedish election looming and Marine Le Pen denied a Portuguese platform, I spoke about free speech, the far right and how to cover politics properly with Stockholm University journalism professor Christian Christiansen.
August 20, 2018
Our Man In Stockholm Episode 2 - Sulome Anderson
Sulome Anderson's father Terry was bureau chief for Associated Press when he was kidnapped before she was born and held hostage for almost seven years - despite this, she still followed in his footsteps. Her book "The Hostage's Daughter" is part searing memoir, part journalistic blockbuster, and she told me about her work, the choices she has made and how the uncertainty of the media business has left her at a crossroads in her career.
August 13, 2018
Our Man In Stockholm Episode 1 - Petesy Carroll
An interview with Irish MMA journalist Petesy Carroll about how covering the rise of Conor McGregor led to him being able to create a career as a combat sports journalist.
August 06, 2018