STEAMWORKS explores: Women in Media – in Times of Turmoil.
Format: Couch Discussion with a panel of 4 speakers including:
Julie (Kirby) Smyth – Presenter of The Hot Desk – WLR
Waterford native Julie is a former BBC news producer and reporter, who currently presents a weekly business programme on WLR as well as regularly contributing to the local broadcaster’s radio news output.
Julie fell in love with radio while in school in the Ursuline, and followed her time playing requests on the school radio with a degree in communications in DCU. Her interest in popular science books led to a Masters in Science Communication and her first ‘proper’ job in the Irish Medical News. From there it was up to Belfast for a 15 year stint with BBC NI covering the whole spectrum of TV and radio news from early days as a multi-media journalist to producing large scale outdoor broadcasts of major events, such as the Queen’s visit, to producing the nightly news.
A move to front of camera came with a move back to Dublin which coincided with the start of the recession and a through immersion in the worlds of bailouts, bondholders, ghost estates and emigration. Then it was time for a mini-migration and a 2.5 year stint in Chicago, before happily moving home to the Deise three years ago.
Jacqui Corcoran is a writer, freelance journalist and media consultant. In the early nineties she studied journalism and later film production and went on to freelance for a number of local and national newspapers before joining RTÉ Radio where she spent over 20 years working initially (for three years) as a scriptwriter and researcher in 2FM, before becoming a producer for RTÉ Radio 1 where she worked across the schedule on a wide range of programmes.
She took voluntary redundancy in 2013 to focus on her creative writing, and set up her media consultancy business to make the money to fund this ridiculous indulgence and feed her children.
She was campaign manager for the Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan in her European and General Election campaigns, and has been working with the Senator since then in an ongoing advisory/ consultancy capacity. She recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at UCC. Her series ‘Where the Heart is’ is a weekly feature currently running in the Irish Times.
Jennifer O Connell
Jennifer O’Connell is a journalist with the Irish Times. She writes a weekly column in the Saturday Magazine, and features and interviews for the Weekend section, Magazine, irishtimes.com and the main newspaper. She is a frequent conference speaker and a regular panellist on TV programmes, including Brendan O’Connor’s The Cutting Edge. In 2018, she was the presenter of Stressed, a two-part documentary series on stress for RTE One.
In her previous lives, Jennifer was the founding editor of TheJournal.ie, an RTE TV News reporter, the producer of two TV documentary series for RTE, an assistant editor of The Sunday Business Post, a communications consultant and trainer, and a ghostwriter for a Silicon Valley CEO.
Mary Frances Ryan – Editor Waterford News & Star
Mary Frances Ryan , editor of Waterford News & Star, Waterford’s biggest selling local newspaper. She joined the paper as editor in December 2008, having previously worked for the Wexford Echo newspaper group.
Originally from north Wexford, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (hons) in History and English at UCD and a Masters in Journalism at DIT. She also spent two years in Spain teaching English as a foreign language, before turning her hand to journalism.
A busy, co-parenting mum of two, when time allows she writes poetry, which she recites at the Spokes open mic nights at Phil Grimes pub in the city.
Discussion Chaired by: Maria McCann – Presenter of The Chat Room – WLR
Maria presents The Chat Room on WLR every Saturday morning from 10am to midday and she is joined by some great guests to chat about everything from health and lifestyle to movies, pet care and parenting.
Originally from Dublin, she began her career in news in East Coast Radio and FM104, however she found her niche as a presenter with the rare ability to move between serious current affairs and human interest interviews with ease.
STEAMWORKS is in association with: Boxworks; Sporthouse Productions; CAMERAshy.