Talk:Belfast Telegraph

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Change of category[edit]

I've changed the category from Irish newspapers to British newspapers. This is not political. The paper is written and printed in Northern Ireland, by most definitions making it a UK newspaper. Independent News and Media plc also organise the Belfast Telegraph Group as part of their UK operations, not the Irish division. [1] Mark83 22:10, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Ireland and the United Kingdom are not mutually exclusive.

Lapsed Pacifist 09:51, 12 October 2005 (UTC)


Many wiki pages have appropriate unbiased criticism sections for subjects that have for whatever reason encountered controversy over their lifespan. Why is the Belfast Telegraph immune to same? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:33, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

And as yet nothing is forthcoming from the contributor who cried wolf. Accusations without evidence of source unsuitability. Merely banning content because you disagree with it is not acting within Wikipedia guidelines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:29, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

PLEASE read, Wikipedia:Reliable Sources. Forums are not reliable sources. Stu ’Bout ye! 22:32, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The website in question has been quoted many times on BBC NI, UTV and other sports news sites for genuine supporter opinion, as well as the local Northern Irish press (Newsletter and the Belfast Telegraph itself). Thus it is in the relevant field and has been published by reliable third party publications. Futhermore as such it is an accurate self-published barometer of the depth of negative feeling aroused over the aforementioned controversy. It should not be censored due to unwillingness of contributors to research a specific topic in depth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gridsquareremoval (talkcontribs) 08:40, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


I would question whether the Telegraph is loyalist. According to Loyalists in Northern Ireland, loyalists are extreme unionists. While the Telegraph probably is unionist, I can't see anything extreme about it - it gives reasonably even handed coverage to nationalists, covers Irish sport etc. --Helenalex 02:10, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


I know most of the content is tabloid, but isnt the weekday telegraph actually broadsheet proportions? The saturday edition is taboid sized. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Icanseeformilesandmiles (talkcontribs) 14:31, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the morning edition is tabloid sized and the later edition broadsheet, but I don't live in Belfast any more so I'm not 100% sure. --Helenalex (talk) 08:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)


Please read our policy on reliable sources. Web forums are not reliable sources. And that being the case, there is no proof that the article ever existed. Full stop. Please stop vandalising the article. Stu ’Bout ye! 21:45, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Even though the page has been unblocked, it seems that the edit warring is still ongoing. I believe a longer temp block to allow full dispute resolution would be appropriate. Heavyweight Gamer (talk) 12:54, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Dispute resolution is not needed. There is no justification for introducing unsourced, potentially BLP material into articles. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:21, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Are you serious? I have a copy of the offending article in front of me right now. I also added a wide variety of sources. You're blindly ignoring every shred of evidence that counters what is merely your own opinion. Is this page an outlet for all information of note regarding the paper concerned or just an extension of your own particular beliefs? Potentially BLP material? I'm sorry why are you being deliberately obtuse? Of course the guy is alive - he wrote the offending article! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:04, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Again contrary to your assertion - a cursory glance at Google shows the offending article to be widely quoted - all links come with negative comment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

More evidence - this time the official Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs speaks out against the article - [2]

Respected blogger speaks out - [3]

Your doubting of the article's existence only highlights your uninformed position. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:25, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Please read our policy on verifiability, it's one of our most important. You have not provided proof that this article ever existed. I don't personally doubt that it did, but Wikipedia has to work on verifiability, not truth. The article does not exist on the Telegraph website anymore. The only sources you have provided are blogs/forums, which are not reliable, and a Newsletter article which does not even mention the article or Barnes. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:41, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

You didn't even read the Newsletter article - this is akin to holding your hands over your ears and shouting down the immediately obvious. I'll quote the relevant section, and you'd do well to read the Official NI Supporters Club viewpoint in the link immediately after it:

"A Sunday newspaper reported that Polish football hooligans are gunning for revenge and thousands will descend on Chorzow for the Northern Ireland fixture.

In the report, a reputed leader of the ultra-violent FC Ruch Chorzow 'Psycho Fans' is promising to retaliate for the Belfast violence.

"They will he get stabbed when they come to Chorzow. Maybe they will get killed," he chillingly warned."

Again in the original submission I provided written evidence of correspondence with the editor concerned, do you doubt his words too?

On the subject matter the Our Wee Country supporters site is about as reliable a source as one could get. Further evidence:

[Sanchez says thank-you to N.I Fans on OWC - BBC] [Our Wee Country win FFA Unsung Hero award - Irish FA] [Belfast Telegraph directly quoting the Our Wee Country Fans Website Forum] [NI fans attacked in Slovakia - An eyewitness - who posted his decription of events on the Our Wee Country website - described the incident as "a vicious act of barbarianism". - NewsLetter quoting the forum] [Fans back call for football anthem. Northern Ireland supporters' on an online web forum are backing the idea for a new anthem]

The site is frequently quoted in the media and breaks most newspieces concerning the Northern Ireland International side. It is the source both officially and unofficially for local and national journalists alike. It has backed several high profile and ultimately successful campaigns, notably charitable efforts and the anti-Maze stadium issue. It is not just another lunatic fringe internet forum. Read the links. Read the evidence.

You haven't responded to these points with a single valid excuse for censoring the angst this paper has caused people. A cursory glance at the reactions online is evidence enough of the anger, even if you remain deliberately uninformed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:08, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

What? The Newsletter article doesn't even mention the Belfast Telegraph or Barnes? That's the key point here. You have not provided a single reliable source to support the claims that Barnes wrote this piece. You're basically accusing Barnes of inciting racial hatred without any evidence, apart from web forums. To quote our policy on biographies of living persons:
Wikipedia is a high-profile, widely viewed website with an international scope, which means that material we publish about living people can affect their lives and the lives of their families, colleagues, and friends. Biographical material must therefore be written with strict adherence to our content policies..
Without reliable sources the section cannot remain. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:57, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

The purpose of Criticism sections in Wikipedia as I understand it is to provide background information on relevant issues to inform the reader. I have made countless online references to this international criticism - from Northern Irish football fans (not just the forum, but the Official Amalgamation of Supporters Clubs), to their Polish equivalent, to national media. Further, as I understand your opinion - the re-emergence of the article online will be sufficient to prove to you that the article is not a figment of the public's imagination. I will do that. I suggest you reappraise what your role is here. Censoring criticism that is already in the public domain is not the job of Wikipedia users. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

First of all, I am not a censor, and my contributions to this encyclopedia are far from trite. The re-emergence of the article on the Telegraph website will be proof. (Posting a screenshot or pasting the text of it on a forum will not) That, or coverage in another reliable news source or book which specifically mentions the alleged subject, author and publication. I am confident of my role on Wikipedia (a simple user, the same as you) and confident that my actions are protecting both the project and the subject of the currently unsourced criticism.
Please read WP:V, WP:RS and WP:BLP. This is not somewhere to vent your frustration at Barnes, this is an encyclopedia which has rules. I appreciate you don't understand these rules yet, but having pointed them out several times my patience is wearing thin. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:40, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Your contribution on this subject is remarkable for nothing other than it's abrupt censoring of a paragraph describing the criticism that the Belfast Telegraph has come under. Why on earth would they put back up an article that has been widely condemned (read those links again Stuart) for lack of truth itself? Again, I have provided proof of widespread revulsion at the offending journalist's work, I accuse him of nothing, merely report the controversy, and reference the consternation resulting. You on the other hand are using BLP to effectively censor any mention of this episode. That has nothing to do with safeguarding an encyclopaedic reference.

There are many, many examples of living persons involved in controversies being described on Wikipedia. There are many pages devoted to such issues without reference. I have provided references from sources who themselves are widely quoted in the media on this subject (Such as Our Wee Country and the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs). I provided mainstream media links that heavily quote from these sources. Indeed you have dismissed one of them without appearing to even have read their opinion published in a local newspaper. Added to that the countless opinions posted online. What is more, the people who posted these online are no more anonymous than you or me posting to wikipedia right now. They are valid expressions of criticism. Likewise the official supporters representative who was quoted in the national media.

The printed press is a matter of public record. I will put the article online and if you doubt it's integrity then I would suggest you visit your nearest library who may help you with your predilection further.

As regards the accusation that it is me personally venting frustration at anyone, you are mistaken. All I ask is that the frustrations expressed by both the public and the official fans groupings regarding the episode are accurately recorded with references where appropriate.

Btw, they still have the image of the alleged 'hooligan' in question on their server - a remarkably glossy effort with all the correct lighting and poise. Remarkable too given the reporter claimed at the time to be talking to this man in his home town in Poland. [Belfast Telegraph Hooligan] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Pride swallowing time. I dug out my OWC log on details are read some more. I thought the article was only published on the internet. I hadn't realised that the article actually appeared in the Sunday Life prior to it going up on the website, and subsequently being removed. So basically, not knowing it was in the print version, I though no evidence of it existed.
Having said that, there are still problems with how the "Criticism" section was worded. It will need some work before going back in. The OWC/Polish football forums still cannot be used as a source for the criticism. The Slugger O'Toole article cannot be used as a source for Barnes' misleading reporting. Firstly, the article (by "Belfast Gonzo", not Mick Fealty note) doesn't actually criticise him. The criticism comes from others commenting on the blog. However this is moot, as blogs aren't reliable sources anyway. If the article had been written by Fealty himself, and published in a national newspaper then it would be reliable as it would be subject to fact checking and editorial control. Blogs are subject to neither of these. So we are left with the original Belfast Telegraph article and the Newsletter article mentioning it.
This is the text as you entered it:
"The Belfast Telegraph has recently come under scrutiny from members of the public disgusted at a perceived fall in editorial competency. An article aimed at stoking up tensions between Northern Irish and Polish football fans was published on 30th August 2009.[6] The alleged first person report featured what appears to be a studio-produced image of a man in blue coloured insignia welding a machete under the heading 'Psycho fans’ looking to kill Northern Ireland supporters during Poland clash'. The comments page at the time was full of Northern Irish & Polish fans expressing their horror at the negative portrayal of football supporters. The article, which made the Belfast Telegraph's Sunday edition only 5 days before, was then taken offline on the 4th of September 2009, the damage largely already committed.[7][8] Fans have asked the Belfast Telegraph to report their information on the alleged Polish threats to the police. They have yet to do so, indicating to many Northern Ireland fans that the story was a fake made to induce trouble both in Poland and in Belfast between locals and Polish immigrants. The reporter Ciaran Barnes has been involved in controversial reporting before. Prior to the Belfast Telegraph he worked for the Andersonstown News and Belfast Media Group, two media organisations known for holding strident Irish Republican viewpoints."
I would propose rewriting it as:
"An article titled 'Psycho fans looking to kill Northern Ireland supporters during Poland clash' written by Ciaran Barnes was published in the Sunday Life on 30th August 2009. The article featured an image of a Polish fan welding a machete. Gary McAllister of the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs dismissed the story as "sensationalism" in a Belfast Newsletter article the next day, stating "This report undermines the hard work and hours that have been put in to organise this trip and make it safe for people".
Very rough first draft, which can be added to if further reliable sources are found. The disturbances during the match in Belfast earlier in the year should be mentioned. I'm not going to request that the article is unprotected just yet, we need to word this correctly before reinserting it in the article. A few questions: What top is he wearing in the photo? It's a Polish club top? Have you got the full text of the article?
I'm not wholly convinced this should be in the actual Belfast Telegraph article. As per Wikipedia:Criticism sections, criticism sections are discouraged, in favour of including criticism in the body of the article. Given the current sparse nature of the article, this will be difficult. Another option is to create an article for Barnes. He had an article here until April when it was deleted for lack of notability. However a better sourced article with sufficient references would be more likely to survive. I need to think about this and do some digging on Barnes, so bear with me. Stu ’Bout ye! 16:10, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Thinking about this more, I don't think it should be mentioned in the article unless further reliable sources are found. For it to be mentioned, criticism should be widespread. Widespread criticism on message boards doesn't count as they are not reliable sources. So as it stands we only have one News Letter article. It may be clear what the News Letter article is about, but it doesn't even mention the reporter or paper involved. Stu ’Bout ye! 12:19, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry it's taken me a while to get back on this. I will have the full text uploaded soon. The shirt worn is apparently a Polish club side - Ruch Chorzów. The criticism was widespread as you say - the fact the medium was via forums, I'm not sure that this can be a reason for dropping it, this just happens to be the way most football people communicate, given the international context. I take your point regarding the wording though. This would be an acceptable resolution for both parties here I feel in terms of Wiki procedure. Re the Slugger issue - AFAIK their articles are still the subject of editorial control. Channel 4 is an investor in Slugger too so it's now a mainstream media-backed resource. And on a technicality I'm not sure I see the difference in something posted to Slugger and an article submitted to the Belfast Telegraph - both allow comments and both have a degree of editorial control. For instance, 'Belfast Gonzo' is a professional journalist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:48, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Political affiliation[edit]

So where is it declared that the Belfast Telegraph has stated that it is a British Unionist affiliated paper? I don't know of many pro-Unionist newspapers that have the same kind of Gaelic sport coverage that it has. Mabuska (talk) 18:24, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. The BT is fairly moderate, and has several columnists who are openly Irish nationalist. The description of the paper as "decidedly unionist" is just plain wrong (The Newsletter, yes, but not the BT). Such a unionist paper also wouldn't have so much coverage of "Republic of Ireland" news on their website if it was so unionist. I'm also suspicious that the sources given here may be another case of external websites regurgitating whatever Wikipedia says and then Wikipedia subsequently using them as a "source"!
Rather, I fell a more accurate description of it would be "representative of Northern Ireland". Unionists make up the majority of the Northern Irish population, so of course unionist opinion will be prominent. (talk) 17:41, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

This definitely needs looked at. A recent article by the Reader's Editor states the following:

"This paper has always regarded itself as serving both Northern Ireland’s two main communities and takes immense pride in the legitimacy of both our cultural traditions."

I would propose that all references to the paper's political affiliation are removed as it appears they are not "decidedly Unionist" as described in this Wikipedia article. (talk) 04:52, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, surely that should be changed. The Belfast Telegraph is hardly "decidedly Unionist", and the sources provided don't exactly lend much support to that assertion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Evening paper?[edit]

The Telegraph is published every morning now, as well as the traditional evening editions. Is it still accurate for the lede to say, "The Belfast Telegraph is a daily evening newspaper"? Mooretwin (talk) 10:14, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it's accurate. Mabuska (talk) 15:52, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Anti-Polish sentiment in Belfast Telegraph[edit]

Perhaps some reference is required in relation to the polonophobic article by Dr. Kevin McCarthy of Kinsale, County Cork, published in the Belfast Telegraph and the resulting scandal. (talk) 08:37, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Regrettably, it appears that the Belfast Telegraph has a prior history of stoking up such tensions, as was apparently seen with their earlier reporting on international football. Thus, this justifies a section in this Wikipedia article to cover this issue. (talk) 12:33, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Moving Offices[edit]

Apparently, it will be moving from its current offices in the centre of Belfast due to redevelopment into a hotel. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:40, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Belfast Telegraph/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

* Importance high: one of the most popular newspapers of Belfast. --Mal 04:34, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Substituted at 04:41, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

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