In the past decade, the digital revolution has significantly changed the way we communicate. It is having a fundamental impact on journalism and how stories are brought to public attention, leading to a more transparent and open society.
Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes, is the number 1 Political Blogger in the British Isles. He is also an Irish Citizen, who owns a house in Wexford and whose mother came from Finglas, Dublin 11. Order-order.com is his political blog and it receives over 2 million page views per month.
In Ireland, Paul is best known as the first media source in the world to publish the names of the Anglo Irish Bondholders. These were the owners of bonds, which cost the Irish taxpayer billions of euro. Up until October 2010, the Irish government told the Irish people the names of those bondholders could not be obtained. Yet Paul Staines overrode any apparent commercial sensitivities and published the list of bondholders in full on his website.
Since founding Order-Order in 2004, Staines has gone on to break some significant political stories, including an email scandal involving Gordon Brown aide Damian McBride, which eventually led to his resignation.
He also drew controversy when he detailed how current British Foreign Secretary William Hague shared a hotel room with a male aide.
There are those who believe Staines represents the lowering of public and political discourse and someone who plays fast and loose with both morality and fair comment.
In recent months, Brian O'Connell spent time with Paul Staines in both Wexford and Westminister and in this documentary he brings us inside the mind and the world of Paul Staines and explores comprehensively what his Irish citizenship means to him.
Along the way, we meet MPs, including Sir David Davies, journalists such as Sky News Political Correspondent Jon Craig, BBC's Giles Dilnot, and Guardian Assistant editor Michael White, as well as Westminister insiders, and hear how influential the Guido Fawkes blog has become. We hear also how Paul Staines uses his base in Ireland to publish stories that are thwarted by super injunctions in the UK, and how he ensured his Irish nationality was to the fore when he appeared at the Leveson Inquiry.
Could he be planning a move to Ireland?
Narrated and Produced by Brian O'Connell
Production Supervision by Liam O'Brien
First broadcast: August 6th 2012 @6pm
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