Here is usually the last place you’d find a defense of a body like the National Newspapers of Ireland (or anything at all for that matter, given the level of activity of late). That possibility is made all the more unlikely given NNI’s now well publicised legal harassment of Women’s Aid, which lays out a demand for hundreds of Euro in recompense for linking to their newspaper member’s content. Targeting charities for money on the basis of an obscure reading of law is pretty abysmal behaviour, but there’s slightly more to this story than a case of big business bullying.
It is certainly not, as has been described, a challenge to the very sharing of ideas, this is not an attempt to roll back the renaissance. This episode is fundamentally about a newspaper industry frustrated by the new business environment it has been plunged in to since the advent of the internet. A frustration which has caused it to lash out in a slipshod and counterproductive manner.
It goes back to the traditional media’s (particularly in Ireland) collective failure to grasp the transformation brought about by the web, both intellectually and economically. Examples abound, from regurgitative Twitter trolling from the likes of John Waters and David Adams in the Irish Times, which are tellingly promoted over and above the incisive views of their less branded contributors, to the crass and lazy photoshopping of bikini titillation by the Irish Independent, who seem to conceive of the internet as merely a tool to refine objectification of women and celebration of celebrity.