Time Changes: Music Press in Ireland – A Documentary

TIME CHANGES: Music Press in Ireland

The transition from print to online has affected every stratum of media, removing guaranteed advertising income, shrinking newsrooms and altering the language of stories for an ever-shifting audience. But of the bastions of the previous generations’ outlets, one outlet that found the changes arduous was arts media, and more specifically, the music magazines. Once forming the basis of a generation’s weekly media consumption, the transition to digital came at the same time as their whole medium struggled in a post-CD environment, and were stuck with both increasing importance as radio phased out artist discovery as a programming imperative, and the spectre of irrelevance as upcoming music websites sought to capitalise on the dissatisfaction with coverage of independent/leftfield music in mainstream press.

This documentary covers the unique culture surrounding music press in Ireland, the cultures surrounding it, and the changes that have occurred in the last 20 years, exploring, ultimately, what keeps the faithful returning and interacting in new ways with the organs of music mythmaking, old and new.


  • Michael Carr (Blue Monkey PR)
  • Ellie O’Byrne (Irish Examiner)
  • Eoghan O’Sullivan (Irish Examiner, The Point of Everything)
  • Jamie Coughlan (Overblown.co.uk)
  • Kelly Doherty (The Thin Air, The Alternative Tone)
  • John Byrne (DJ & copywriter)
  • Tadhg Curtis (music historian)


15-minute documentary with accompanying 5,000-word essay. Comprised of interviews with music staff from magazines and papers, as well as editors, writers and compositors of old fanzines. Comparing and contrasting the music mag culture of old with today’s methods of music discovery, it’ll be interspersed with handy shots of the professionals going about their business, persuing back issues, shots of mags old and new, etc.


Filmed and edited over the course of July and August, 2017, in Cork.


Interviews completed on location in Cork.


Aside from being my own professional area of interest, music journalism is an area that continues to attract a loyal audience of readers, as well as waves of aspiring rock critics. It’s an area of Irish media that resonates personally with hundreds and thousands of fans around the country, and has gone from weekly rites of passage for teenagers to integrating with the process of online music discovery and consumption.



  • Nialler9.com (independent Irish music, breaking news and podcasts)
  • Hot Press/HotPress.com (mainstream/major-label music, also available in print fortnightly)
  • The Thin Air (independent/alternative, resuming print this autumn)
  • District Magazine (Irish hip-hop specialists, longreads, available intermittently in print)
  • The Irish Times/The Ticket (arts supplement in the paper of record, in print Fridays and online all week)
  • Thumped.com (veteran Irish music site, nineteen years and running, still boasting an active forum)
  • Goldenplec.com (independent Irish music, renowned for annual Plec Picks)
  • Overblown.co.uk (transatlantic music blog run from Cork, alternative music and podcasts)
  • MetalIreland.com (Ireland’s only specialist metal publication, known for its forum/community)
  • State.ie (independent Irish music site, briefly available in print)
  • Barrygruff (Ireland-based international new music blog)
  • Pure M (mainstream Irish music and pop-culture)


  • Irish Showbands (archive of Irish showbands and beat groups, including Spotlight/New Spotlight)
  • Irish Rock (historical archive of Irish bands and music media from 1970s on)
  • Brand New Retro (encyclopedia of Irish retro pop culture, including extensive music & media entries)
  • VOX Magazine (cover scan on Brand New Retro, not to be confused with current religious periodical)
  • AlternativeUlster.com (archive of Alternative Ulster Magazine, 2003-2012)
  • Mongrel Magazine (archive of features from Mongrel Magazine, 2003-2008)
  • Against the Rest (2015 PhD thesis on Irish fanzine culture, by Out on a Limb Records founder Ciaran Ryan)

Available at this Google Drive link (permission required to access).