was just listening to drivetime today and once again the journos where crying about the 1.87 million awarded to Ms Leech for being defamed in the public domain and basically being called a whore and i couldnt help thinking ARE these actually damages or is it a punishment of INM by the jury?
the reason i ask is IMO it IS a punishment of the herald and its owners yet no one on the radio seems to cotton on to this.
on the said program the guest were throwing up what is now the standard strawman that if she was paralysed in an accident she wouldntve got a TENTH of this , and indeed if she hadve gone in front of the redress board for the religious abuse scandal she only wouldve got 60k or so.
now this is true, and makes for good evasion. unfortunetly with them being all journos together in the irish media NO ONE seems to ask what the consequences of that line of thinking is and indeed if theyre even comparable .
the obvious reason to me for such a large award, and a court has ruled today that INM DO have to start paying it out while theyre appeal makes its way to the supreme court, is to take into account how this has benified INM.
look at it this way. lets say the maximum award ANYONE could get is circa 60k, what sort of messgage does that send to irresponsible or indeed malicous editors or "journalists" ?
many of the big newspapers in this country would pay a full time staff writer DOUBLE that a year in their wage!
you dont need to be a genius to realise that a complete bastard of an editor/writer could triple their circulation and prehaps double their charge rate on advertising to business on the back of their increased numbers ALL for the cost of half the yearly wage of a hack.
thats a HELL of an incentive to taget people and destroy them and we ALL know INM have no problem making up shyte when it suits them, liam lawlor and the "prostitute" in the car when he died is a classic example of this.
this is why this case ISNT comparable to the redress board or an accident. theres no money to be made from one party in CONTINUALLY crippling or abusing someone but there IS a material gain from printing stories like this
which is why i think this award ISNT about the loss of face to Ms Leech. The loss of her business or the defaming of her name. its about putting manners on irresponsible , indefensible "journalism" who's sole purpose was to sell newspaper and rake in the cash.
in short putting the smackdown on LIARS who abuse the position and power they hold in society and dragging the whole profesion into dissrepute.
a professinal trust worthy media is QUINTESESSNTIAL to a functional free society. the drive time guest where crying that awards of this level could result in INM getting into difficulties and that people could lose their jobs.
maybe at the end of the day- that was the point the jury was trying to make
that if a media outlet deliberatly prints or broadcasts content that they KNOW is bollocks, they'll bury them.
i'll put my hand up and say that if my take on this is true then i think its a marvelous turn of events. the drivetime pannel were waffling on about the new defamation bill and the like but TBH if push comes to shove id rather a jury of my peers decided whether i was deliberatly defamed or not and punished the media involved than have regulation forced on the industry or have the government interfer.
its seems to be the most equitable way of punishing the hacks without threatening the abilities of the corp of genuine investigative jounalists.
or maybe im reading too much into this ! what do you lot think?