Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Malachi O'Doherty - still in the saddle at sixty

I mentioned one of Malachi O’Doherty’s in conversation events on the blog last month. In his role as the BBC Louis MacNeice Writer in Residence at Queen’s University Belfast he had been interviewing Tom Rachman, author of The Imperfectionists.

Malachi is very well known in Northern Ireland as a journalist, author and commentator on social, cultural, religious and political goings-on.

As the chairs in the BBC studio were being stacked, I asked Malachi about what had attracted him to apply for this BBC funded post at the university. The answer: stability, continuity, as well as esteem.

He has a remit to bring discussion of journalism into the university and the community, as well as contributing to the work of the English Department. The events have run alongside the emerging phone-hacking story and the subsequent Leveson inquiry that has raised the profile of issues around media ethics.

In the past 18 months or so he has run traditional book groups, formed a blog group and held public sessions at which he has interviewed local, national and international journalists and authors. Audio clips from many of the interviews are available on his blog: The Writer’s Log. http://writerslog.net/ Keep an eye on his Coming Events page for future interviews.

Aside from investigating journalism, Malachi is still writing. His latest book is due to be published by Blackstaff Press later this month: On My Own Two Wheels. And while he wasn’t sure his editor would let him away with the subtitle, looking at Amazon it seems that Back In The Saddle At 60 has stuck! Appropriately, the book’s being launched at Bikedock, 79-85 Ravenhill Road, Belfast at 6pm on Thursday 24 May.

(The interview was conducted in February.)

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