Northern Slant Archive

I was a contributing Associate Editor for Northern Slant for four years from 2017 to 2021, writing primarily about US and global politics and their broader implications. Here’s a selection of articles from that period.

Trick or Treat For Biden? – October 30, 2021

As Trump’s Legal Woes Mount, The GOP Doubles Down – May 29, 2021

On Eve of 100 Days, Biden Offers Bold Agenda – April 29, 2021

‘We Are Able To Breathe Again’ – April 21, 2021

History At Stake As (Second) Impeachment Trial Begins – February 9, 2021

From The Big Lie To A Great Undoing – January 19, 2021

Looking For A Soul To Steal – January 4, 2021

Biden – Finally – Wins Presidency (a compilation of daily columns documenting the chaos for the four days after the election when Donald Trump refused to concede)


In October 2020, my Northern Slant colleagues and I hosted a virtual discussion about the impending election. (The panel had been postponed from March that year due to Covid.)


Party Of One – August 24, 2020

Enemies And Endgames – July 27, 2020

Tipping Point For The Bully Pulpit? – April 28, 2020

L’Etat C’est Moi – April 16, 2020

In Pivotal Week, Virus Leaves Politics In Disarray – April 10 2020

You Come At The King, You Best Not Miss… – February 5, 2020

Trump Impeached In Day Of Acrimony – December 19, 2019

Tanks, But No Tanks – July 3, 2019

The State Of Our Union Is Dysfunctional – February 6, 2019

They’re Laughing Their Asses Off In Moscow – March 19, 2018

Trump’s ‘New American Moment’ – January 31, 2018

Just Another Firing, Or A Smoking Gun? – May 10, 2017


I recorded some short commentary videos like these from the US promoting NS coverage:

Washington DC – September 2018
Ohio / Kentucky – August 2017


In addition to US politics, I wrote about some other topics – here are a few examples:

Above The Fold – December 1, 2020 (review of Dublin photographer Noel Bowler’s book and exhibition looking at iconic newspapers of the world)

Tributes Pour In For Peacemaker John Hume – August 3, 2020

Wait Til’ Next Year? – May 22, 2020 (The effect of the pandemic on sports worldwide)

DC Home To Both National Pastimes – October 26, 2019 (Politics and the World Series)

Make America Greta Again – September 2, 2019 (Greta Thunberg at the UN)

‘Everything Is Getting Much Worse, Much Faster, Everywhere’ – August 11, 2019 (Jonathan Porritt and environmental catastrophe)

Dublin Gets A Reporting Masterclass – June 16, 2019 (Woodward and Bernstein talk about America from Watergate to Trump)

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward with Northern Slant’s Steve McGookin, Julia Flanagan and Matthew O’Neill


Football Wins – May 9, 2019 (Liverpool and Tottenham face each other in the Champions League final, with echoes of Brexit)

Are You Running For Something? – January 27, 2019 (The election cycle turns again…)

How Finn McCool Gives Me Hope – January 6, 2019 (ice hockey and Belfast’s future)

National Treasures – November 2, 2018 (a poetry reading with two of Ireland’s masters)

‘We Are Not The Enemy’ – July 4 2018 (American journalism and the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD.)

PJ’s Field Of Dreams (A Belfast-born ballpayer makes his MLB debut)

227 Days And Counting. What Happens Now? – March 26, 2018 (The ‘March For Our Lives’ in Washington DC)

Generation Next? – February 26, 2018 (Fallout from the Parkland shooting)

A Place In The World – September 11, 2017

The Man Who Should Be President – May 4, 2017 (Theo Epstein, baseball and politics)


Movies and ShakersA six-part summer series on movies, music and TV from both sides of the Atlantic with a political theme.


Along with colleagues, I also wrote a weekly news roundup, The Week in Five Points, and, for about a year as the Covid pandemic was taking hold, I pulled together a weekly digest of local virus-related news items.


There’s a more complete archive – of first drafts – at Medium.


Ahead of Britain’s 2019 General Election, I discussed the importance of newspapers and the written word in covering political campaigns with Jess Lawrence and Lisa Whitten. It was part of a longer collaborative series leading up to election day itself, when I wrote our wrap-up piece.

Jess Lawrence, Lisa Whitten and Steve McGookin


Election Night Wrap-Up – December 12, 2019

Issues Or Identity – Northern Ireland votes: A Northern Slant event – December 11, 2019