UL journalist freshly minted with PhD warns young reporters to step away from social media

UL journalism lecturer Audrey Galvin, pictured with her husband Paul and daughter Naoise (2) as she was conferred with a doctorate. Photo: Arthur Ellis.

A UNIVERSITY of Limerick (UL) lecturer has urged up-and-coming reporters to put down the phones to help stem the tide of a growing global wave of misinformation.

Dr Audrey Galvin, a lecturer at UL’s school of journalism, was speaking ahead of her graduation from a PhD at the university’s faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

The award-winning journalist joined over 1,200 students at UL last week being conferred.

Originally from Finuge in County Kerry, Dr Galvin obtained a degree in English and History, before going on to get a master’s degree in media, which paved the way to her spending over 10 years working as a broadcast journalist with Radio Kerry.

Dr Galvin said that there are many challenges for young journalists today, stressing that meeting people was still the most important aspect of the job.

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Giving advice to the next wave of journalists trying to cut their teeth, she warned not to “rely too much on social media and their phones – you need to get out and meet people”.

“Social media is a fantastic and integral tool for journalists, but it has its place; the story comes first, and people are integral to that.

“I also think mis- and disinformation are major challenges to the work of journalists. They work under considerable time pressures, and their ability to verify information can be considerably compromised by misinformation and deliberate spread of lies to suit a preferred narrative. I think it is a growing global issue,” she shared.