Journalism 101

The new Dancing About Architecture course will be happening late Feb/early March. I’m pulling it together at the moment, so expect more details on who the guest speakers are (generally three per session) soon. I’ll be chairing each session which will take place once a week over 5 weeks on a week night evening in central Dublin.

If you can’t go, you can listen to the podcasts.

It’s free. You’ll have to drop me a mail to attend, just so I get an idea of the numbers, but hopefully everyone who wants to come will be able to get a spot. I will put up these contact details when the course outline is drawn up.

The guest speakers will be people who are practicing what they preach, journalists in print, online and broadcasting at the top of their respective games who will be imparting their advice and experience for you to learn from. There will be homework, but you won’t have to do it if you don’t want to. There will be an extensive reading and listening list, but you don’t have to go through it all if you don’t want to. That said, the more you engage with all this stuff, the more you’ll get out of it.


POLITRICKS: The tricks of the trade of political reporting.

FEATURE WRITING AND COMMISSIONING: How to write well, and how to get your articles published.

CRITIC SCHOOL: Have an opinion, use it, get people to listen to it.

HEY THERE SPORTS FANS: Becoming a sports journalist.

NEW-NEW JOURNALISM: I hear the internet is on computers now – how to get a slice of the digital journalism pie.

More soon.


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Dancing About Architecture is changing

So it’s been ages since I’ve been able to get the new Dancing About Architecture course together. This is mainly to do with the fact that I’ve been too busy trying to setting down post-Tribune. HOWEVER (and you should never start a sentence with ‘however’) the course is still happening, but it is changing. The new Dancing About Architecture course will take place in Feb/March 2012 and will expand. I was going to do another music one and then separate ones on different categories of journalism but I’ve decided against that and to do something slightly different.

More news to follow once I get in touch with guest lecturers and work out the structure properly so stay tuned.


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Checking in


So, I was going to run a Dancing About Architecture film course, but then various things happened, namely me having no time because I was working full time on a general election campaign (for Mr Dylan Haskins) and also the place where I worked for nearly six years, the Sunday Tribune, closed so I had to deal with the whole job loss thing and get my shit together.

ANYWAY, now that things are a little calmer I’m currently working out dates for another Dancing About Architecture (free) music journalism course that will be along the same lines as the last one, taking place over four evenings in four weeks, and will hopefully evolve some what, including having some voluntary course work and field trips.

Once I have the dates down, I’ll let yiz know so anyone who wants to attend can add their name to the list and we can get going. In the meantime, if you’re into music journalism, what areas of the industry or topics would you like Dancing About Architecture to cover? Please add your suggestions in the comments.



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RTE looking for music bloggers

TRTÉ is the new brand for RTÉ Young Peoples Programmes for 8 years and up. The TRTÉ website ( aims to showcase new talent.

They are currently looking for young Irish music bloggers to feature on the Playlist page ( to talk about their favourite music.

If you are interested in coming into studio to talk about music then contact Aoife O’Reilly at Please include a link to your blog.

Note: studio time is Monday mornings, 9.30-12.30.

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Last night was the final in this first installment of Dancing About Architecture. Thank you so much to everyone who came down, and I hope you got something out of it. The feedback has all been really positive, and please feel free to continue to add your comments.

A giant thank you to all of those speakers who took time out of their busy schedules to talk to you guys; Sophie Gorman, Phil Udell, Nialler9, Aoife Woodlock, Nadine O’Regan, Dylan Haskins and Aoife Barry. I’m reserving a special thanks to Jim Carroll for helping me with this from the start and not saying “no Una, that’s a stupid idea, you’re going to get in trouble. Again.” Thanks as well to McGrattan’s and Anthony Remedy for being kind enough to give us the space for free for four weeks. Thanks to Gav for helping out with the podcast. Thanks to all the journos, music industry people, musicians, label folk, PR dudes, bloggers, students, promoters and everyone else who supported this project. Also, big up to everyone who retweeted DAA news, spread the word and was generally sound about it, especially Phantom, Image magazine, The Irish Times and of course The Sunday Tribune.

Without going all Tyra Banks on your asses, this has been a big learning experience for me and it has all been far from perfect. However, like all good lessons, it means the next one will be better, as will the next one after that, and so on.

In terms of what works best, I think we’ll be sticking with what I’m calling experience and advice-based education. I think ultimately that’s often one thing missing from formal education in that you don’t actually hear about the practical pathways to work and meaningful advice to help you get to that work and improve at it. So that’s the format we’ll continue with.

One thing that I’m looking to do now is see what other elements can be improved and what other boundaries can be pushed. I’m becoming more enthusiastic about what spaces we can host DAA in in the future. Most of these conversations and plans have been happening in my head and in my notebooks, but I’m hoping to make them reality soon.

Obviously, it’s also crucial that all of this is always provided for free for those who want to sign up to it. I think even having a nominal fee or a contribution automatically creates a barrier.

So the next Dancing About Architecture will happen in January (date, time and location TBC, but I’m working on it.) It will be called Dancing About Architecture: Goes To The Movies and will be a two week course giving advice on how to get started and be good at film journalism and its trimmings. Much like DAA#1 we’ll have awesome journalists involved who really know their stuff. I’ll be opening registration for this in mid-Dec and there will be 35 places.

There will be another Dancing About Architecture (the music journalism version) in 2011 also. I’m also trying to put together a slightly more ambitious installment of Dancing About Architecture on another topic for 2011, but that’s in the very early stages of development. I’ll keep y’all updated.

In the meantime, this blog will continue to function as a notice board for DAA and I’ll also post details of any job or contributor opportunities I come across or that people send to me, relevent arts journalism news, add to the reading lists and so on, so do continue to check in.

Again, thanks for all the support. I think it’s really important to put random ideas into action in these crazy times that we’re living in, so if you think that you can do a better job than me – DO IT!


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More Dancing About Architecture podcasts up soon

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten! Just trying to get the time to upload them. Mucho gracias to the wonderful King Of The Podcast Dude (TM) Gav for helping me with this.


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Podcast of Week 2: ‘Digital Love’

Dancing About Architecture: Week 2 – Digital Love by UnaMullally

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