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230

E

UR

A

MERICA

the

Independent

, on the other hand, was on the rise in the

early 1900s, embodying the innovative new form of journalism

that was having a great impact on Irish newspapers (Kershner,

2010: 99, 104).

10

As Kershner comments, “by 1904 [Crawford]

must be aware that the historical and commercial momentum

is now with his former employer” (2010: 104). Aware of this

he may be, yet Crawford makes no attempt to change the

status quo. He neither brings a soul to the nation nor profits

his employer. His alcoholism may result partly from his

frustration over advancement.

A drunken, dissatisfied weathercock, Crawford comforts

himself by revelling memories of past glories. So far as the

editor is concerned, talented journalists existed in bygone days.

He considers Ignatius Gallaher the greatest journalist, who

“made his mark” when “[t]he

New York World

cabled for a

special” on the Phoenix Park murders (Joyce, 1986: 112).

Crawford extols Gallaher’s ingenious device of transforming a

newspaper page into a map of the Invincibles’ decoy and

escape routes: “Gallaher, that was a pressman for you. . . .

That was the smartest piece of journalism ever known” (112);

“That’s press. That’s talent” (113); “Where do you find a

pressman like that now, eh?” (113). An editor himself,

Crawford seems to be oblivious of the fact that he

is

a

pressman, liable for smart pieces of journalism. For him, the

past outshines the present: influential nationalist leaders used

to contribute articles to the

Freeman

(114), but the triumphs of

the paper are long past. Kershner argues that “for all

Crawford’s energetic rhetoric, the

Freeman’s Journal

is mired

in past practices and the memory of past glories” (2010: 104).

Its own past achievements prevent the

Freeman

from

innovating in the new age; past practices have become

10

The new journalism aimed at, in short, entertaining the public. It was

therefore less serious and more commercialized. For its characteristics and

the innovations the

Independent

pioneered, see Kershner (2010: 100-104).