MEDIA PROFILE: Tackling the Irish questions - Norah Casey, editor, the Irish Post

’The trouble with being the new editor of the Irish Post is that you are deemed an instant expert on all matters Irish,’ says Norah Casey, who’s been in the job since June. ’Having turned up there I suddenly find I have to go on CNN and the BBC to talk about the peace agreement, the new assembly and, of course, Drumcree.’

’The trouble with being the new editor of the Irish Post is that

you are deemed an instant expert on all matters Irish,’ says Norah

Casey, who’s been in the job since June. ’Having turned up there I

suddenly find I have to go on CNN and the BBC to talk about the peace

agreement, the new assembly and, of course, Drumcree.’



Casey got into journalism through nursing, using her eight years of

practical experience to get a job on the Nursing Standard. The majority

of her career has been spent on the Nursing Standard where she rose

through the ranks to become editor. Moving into mainstream journalism

would have been enough of a culture shock without the need for her to

become a talking head for the Irish community.



’I didn’t have any sleepless nights about the job,’ she says. ’I was

looking for a change of direction and it was either to pursue health in

other media or move into women’s magazines but, in the end, it was the

subject matter which appealed to me so much that I made the move. I’m

Irish and living in the UK, so the paper is very close to my heart.’



The Irish Post is the weekly newspaper for Irish people living in

Britain.



In fact, the Irish are the UK’s largest ethnic minority. Like other

ethnic newspapers, however, the paper faces a time of great

upheaval.



Founded in the 1960s to provide a networking forum for young, mainly

male Irish immigrants in the UK looking for work, it has not yet

entirely adapted to the changing nature of its readership. Alongside the

original arrivals, it now has to serve their children and grandchildren

as well as the new wave of young Irish professionals who have come to

Britain to gain professional experience rather than moving here for

life.



’We’re going to conduct two big research projects to work out how to

meet this change,’ says Casey. ’We’re doing some qualitative research

into the new generations of readers, who we find don’t think the Post

appeals to them. After that, we’ll do quantitative research with our

core readership to see how they’ll react to change. It may lead to

changes in the paper or we may decide to launch something new.’



The paper already plans some supplements as a result of some earlier

research. These include a golf supplement, a Christmas preparations

supplement in September (the last date one can expect to book Christmas

flights to Ireland), travel supplements, property supplements and a new

Irish books supplement. There’s also a plan to run a Best Irish Pub in

London competition.



’Since I’ve been here, it has felt almost like coming home,’ Casey

says.



’I read the Irish papers everyday, talk to people in Cork and Donegal

and work with other Irish people. Every now and then, I think about

going home but for the time being I’ve found an ideal place between

Britain and Ireland.’



HIGHLIGHTS



1985: Reporter, Nursing Standard



1987: News editor, Nursing Standard



1989: Editor, Nursing Standard



1998: Editor, the Irish Post.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in