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Abortion debate an example of the media not doing its job

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Campaign posters in Dublin ahead of the abortion referendum in 2018. Photo: Artur Widak/AFP via Getty Images

Campaign posters in Dublin ahead of the abortion referendum in 2018. Photo: Artur Widak/AFP via Getty Images

Campaign posters in Dublin ahead of the abortion referendum in 2018. Photo: Artur Widak/AFP via Getty Images

I agree with Mary Stewart (‘Why groupthink should be confronted across all media’, Irish Independent, Letters, July 19) rather than Declan Foley (‘The message is: we need to evaluate what media tells us’, Irish Independent, Letters, July 20).

When media groupthink leads to selective reporting of facts, and unbalanced discussion of the facts reported – which was Ms Stewart’s point – it is not realistic to maintain that the public can still make up their own minds.

The public will assume, for the most part, that the media is fairly presenting the facts. In the case of abortion, in my view, the media routinely suppresses unpalatable facts.

Much of the public will not be aware of this and we end up with a two-to-one majority for repealing the Eighth Amendment. The Irish Independent makes more effort than most to actually debate issues such as abortion.

Jim Stack

Lismore, Co Waterford

Is it groupthink? Or simply groupthink on the ‘wrong’ side?

I have read many of Mary Stewart’s letters over the years, a great many of which promote the beliefs of the largest church in the history of the world.

I can’t help but wonder if her issue with perceived groupthink in the media is that the thinking is from the wrong group (‘Why groupthink should be confronted across all media’, Irish Independent, Letters, July 19).

Bernie Linnane

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

Littering in front of the kids? That’s just rubbish parenting

Piles of litter were left behind on Irish beaches after the sun-seekers departed earlier in the week.

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Is it not time to remind these careless people to leave the beach as they find it?

Families with children who behave like this are setting a dreadful example for the next generation.

Leo Gormley

Dundalk, Co Louth

Depression can be tackled without the use of medication

The article in yesterday’s newspaper relating to depression is not groundbreaking news (‘Cause of depression is not grounded in science’, Irish Independent, July 20). Many people, including retired chief psychiatrist of the then-Eastern Health Board, Professor Ivor Browne, said this more than 30 years ago.

As a young adult, I suffered very severe suicidal depression. I was hospitalised and given a diagnosis of manic depression at the age of 20, which included a life requirement to take daily doses of lithium.

Thankfully, in my late 20s, I met Prof Browne who took me off all psychiatric medication. I commenced psychotherapy, including holotropic breathwork. That was nearly 30 years ago.

The theory of depression being a chemical imbalance is bunkum as far as
I’m concerned.

Tommy Roddy

Ballybane, Co Galway

Journalists can lead the fight against climate disruption

We all know that climate does indeed change over geological time frames. Disruption is a different matter. Climate disruption may outpace us if we neglect to take corrective action as a collective.

What behaviour lies at the root of this disruption? I respectfully suggest it is the common industrial practice of externalising costs in order to maximise wealth extraction more efficiently (profitability). This, allied with the concentration of wealth as a political hegemon, at the detriment of picking up the tab for environmental and social challenges, is the root issue here.

Environmental consultancy Trucost carried out a study in 2013 which estimated that the annual costs to our shared environment ran to $7 trillion.

Here we are, nine years later, and no meaningful action has been taken to confront this. Profitability based on this is a deceit, and it is a systemic, cultural deceit that is causing untold harm.

The future is so hot that we’ve got to find shade. How do we correct this dynamic?

Unless we discuss it honestly across the public domain – in schools, universities and the various corridors of power, corporate and political – we cannot even start to confront this behaviour.

It is quite clear now where that failure will lead us.

Our children and grandchildren will not thank us if we avoid or evade this matter. Who dares to host such an honest discourse? It is my fervent hope that news media such as yourselves participate as hosts of this necessary discourse.

Climate disruption is a global problem and truly we are all in this together.

Corneilius Crowley

London, England


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