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El Arpo Media and Evening with Joyce, and Fake News

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

After meeting with Sara Canto at El Ateneo theatre to talk about The Groundhog Day Challenge and The Bloomsday Society's first monthly meeting since June 16th, I decided to pop into a new bookshop by El Ateneo and see if they had any copies of Ulysses on display

After picking up a copy of Dublineses and speaking with Maria in Crazy Mary's Liberia, I learnt of a planned Evening with Joyce on the 20th of October which was being organised by El Arpo Media.

El Arpo Media are a Hiberno-Spanish duo who have been promoting Irish culture and the links between Ireland and Spain for nearly a decade. They have a street tour that focuses on Irish refugees who fled to the peninsula under the reign of Philip II.

The life of Joyce, stinks from the fishmarket

I had tried to attend one of these tours organised with the Irish embassy a few years ago but it was completely booked out so I will have to find out more about these tours.

Harp media has also written a prize winning novel that focuses on Seamus Heaney's time in Madrid and their first book was about fake news which they referenced in their Evening with Joyce when they described how James Joyce had written about sporting events that were reported very differently in different publications.

It is hard to imagine sporting events having different results but someday we will have to address media bias and inaccuracies and the fakest of news, "Fake News."

Thanks to John Barron, sorry, I mean Donald John Trump, John Barron was a pseudonym he used to ring up media outlets where he pretended to be his own spokesperson and apparently boasted about his boss' love life and business acumen. "Fake News" is a very real thing of course where bias plays a part in how stories are covered, errors happen and things can quickly spiral out of hand and add a little PR spin into the mix, and journalism's accuracy can go out the window. All I know is I would never recommend dealing with the BBC from my own experiences.

"Fake News" is more than the catchphrase of a man trying to dismiss news that doesn't suit his own agenda but a cancer that remains untreated within the media industry. Selling papers and advertisements is a big part of their work and in Ulysses we see Leopold Bloom selling advertisements. I am sure the news is actually secondary to what they do and I remember advising a magazine owner that what they needed was good stories that attracted readers who would attract advertisers trying to reach their readers.

He responded, "I just want advertisers" but I'm not sure he ever got paid advertisers with the quality of what he ran and even in Joyce's time, I don't think Joe Pulitzer ever won a Pulitzer Prize for the yellow press he printed which I am sure was the clickbait of the time.

I look forward to checking out their book Fake News and hopefully their walking tour too. For now I am busy following Leopold Bloom all around Edwardian Dublin.

El Arpa Media is made up of Enda Kenneally from Limerick and Maria Correas from Leon.

Supported by

UNESCO City of Literature

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