Belfast Telegraph

What is DebateNI?

DebateNI is that most valuable of things – a home to the ideas and the critiques, the disagreements and the brain-storming that is the foundation stone of any democracy.

In the spirit of the 17th century coffee houses which kindled the debates that heralded the Age of Enlightenment, the Belfast Telegraph brings together essential elements of Northern Ireland politics into one complete whole.

But DebateNI is more than just debate – it’s an information provider, a data bank, a source of inspiration, and an echo chamber of local politics.

We hope it will be, in short, the ideas lab of our civic life.

As a newspaper with a long and proud tradition of being at the centre of political debate in Northern Ireland, we feel we are uniquely positioned to host this forum.

Since 1870, and in particular during the Troubles, we have been a force for common sense and moderation in this disputed part of the world.

Our political coverage of the Province is second to none, and our reputation as the challenger of sectarian orthodoxies and stimulator of intelligent conversations is unrivalled.

DebateNI will grow in coming months, but from the start we have added features we believe will enhance the quality of civic life:  breaking news, opinion, blogs, live information feeds, coverage of Stormont proceedings, data tools, archive and much, much more.

Most importantly of all, we believe in the power of engagement.  We hope everyone will join in the conversation – simply sign up to our Comments section here and express yourself.

Welcome to DebateNI: the home of Northern Ireland politics.

15 June 2013

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DebateNI’s fantastic motif is a line drawing by renowned Belfast Telegraph cartoonist Stevie Lee.


Based on a 17th century coffee shop debate, it is designed to illustrate the rich and vigorous debate that characterises the political history of Northern Ireland.

A range of characters are presented to symbolise the age old debating tradition from modern day politicians back to partition, the United Irishmen and beyond.


They are all well known figures from Northern Ireland or whose influence was of critical importance to the Province.


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