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Channel 4’s 4iP fund is continuing its pattern of investing in projects that “keep an eye on money and power” by funding Northern Ireland’s best-known political blog, Slugger O’Toole, paidContent:UK has learned.
It’s 4iP’s first joint investment with media agency Northern Ireland Screen. The investment size is unknown, along with whether 4iP has taken equity; the deal will be announced later.
Slugger was started in 2002 by political analyst and journalist Mick Fealty, but has now grown to number multiple contributors and wields serious influence in Stormont politics – 96 percent of the Northern Ireland assembly’s MLAs are readers (ComRes/Stratagem: 2008). The investment has added resonance, with the assembly’s DUP/Sinn Fein power-sharing agreement strained by police reform proposals.
4iP’s portfolio already includes civic online reporting and interrogation projects Help Me Investigate, Talk About Local and Yoosk. It was attracted by Slugger’s rootsy expression of citizen views, believing it fills a gap in coverage of local and devolved national politics.