Niamh Kirk: Diasporic mediations: the influence of cultural identities on Irish diasporic news production

As Irish people and culture has moved beyond the confines of the island to spread around the world, Irish diasporic media has played a crucial role in communicating Irish current affairs. Yet, do we know what happens when Irish metropolitan news reaches the diaspora? How it is interpreted or re-presented?

My research aims to understand how Irish identity and culture are represented by diaspora journalists. To achieve this, I am developing an effective model for mapping and analysing digital news categories, topics and stories as they travel between Ireland and the diaspora media. I examine what current affairs stories are carried over, how they are framed, what is omitted, and whether Ireland is represented in the same way in different diasporic sites. With this research, I want to engender a better understanding of the nature of transnational media representations, the impact of multi-regional resettlement and journalism’s role in the maintenance of diaspora-homeland relationships. 

I love my research because it has given me the freedom to explore my own unique theories and experiment with new methodologies and digital technologies, and create a model for quantitatively and qualitatively mapping news and cultural flows by creatively using open source software that could be used in industry and academia. Above all, I hope that my work will help enhance communications between Ireland and the diaspora press and give us a better understanding of how this relationship can amplify Ireland’s voice on the global stage.