Inaugural ‘John Cunningham’ Lecture to Honour Late Newspaper Editor

Roy Greenslade, commentator for The Guardian and Honorary Visiting Professor at City, University of London (Photo: Roy Greenslade) and John Cunningham, late Connacht Tribune Editor and long-time journalism lecturer (Photo: Cunningham Family)
Nov 12 2019 Posted: 15:03 GMT

The Discipline of Journalism and Communication at NUI Galway will host the inaugural ‘John Cunningham Journalism Lecture’ on Monday, 18 November at 5pm in the Aula Maxima. The event honours the late Connacht Tribune Editor and long-time journalism lecturer John Cunningham.

The lecture will be delivered by the British media commentator for The Guardian and Honorary Visiting Professor at City, University of London, Professor Roy Greenslade. In his lecture, entitled ‘21st century journalism: Reasons to be cheerful while feeling a little sad’, Professor Greenslade is expected to argue that journalism has never been more important, but that it is facing existential threats that must be overcome.

Ahead of his visit to Galway and honouring John Cunningham, Professor Greenslade, said: “Journalists are producing excellent work amid the disruption to old media created by the digital revolution. But I am concerned about the loss of newsroom numbers and the verities of a collaborative news-gathering culture.” 

The John Cunningham Award for journalism is also being inaugurated for the highest achieving MA Journalism graduate at NUI Galway. This year’s winner is Julia Tereno, a journalist with Newstalk, who is originally from San Paulo, Brazil.

Tom Felle, Head of Journalism and Communication at NUI Galway, said: “John Cunningham was one of Ireland’s best local newspaper editors and he made an indelible impression on the lives of the hundreds of journalists he trained as a lecturer in journalism. We are delighted to be able to honour his memory with this public lecture that we hope will become an important annual event.”

John Cunningham was Editor of the Connacht Tribune from 1984 until his retirement in 2007. He continued to write on politics in his weekly ‘Corridors of Power’ column until his death in 2012. A native of Tuam, he began his career in journalism as junior reporter with the Tribune in 1964. He was appointed News Editor in 1978 and in 1982 took up an appointment as Editor of The Waterford News and Star and The East Cork News with Examiner Group.

John was appointed Editor of the Connacht Tribune, in succession to Sean Fahy, in 1984 and was part of a team which introduced a number of important developments and changes in the group’s newspapers. John was a regular contributor to national newspapers and to radio and television over many years. He won a Journalist of The Year Award in 1979 for his ‘Corridors of Power’ column – especially in relation to a controversy surrounding the use of Section Four of the City and County Management Act to force through planning permissions. The column was one of the longest running in the country.

A former member of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, John lectured in Journalism with the M.A. Journalism course at NUI Galway and in 2006 was conferred with an Honorary Master of Arts Degree by the College for his work in journalism and in the education area.

He lectured at NUI Galway for 18 years and continued to write his weekly newspaper columns right up to his death in 2012.

The event is free and open to the public. To register email


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