Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Sunday Indo, Liam Lawlor and the backlash

I HAVE been a little bit bemused by the Liam Lawlor/Sunday Independent/Sindo debacle over the last number of days and I am not going to go on and on about it but a number of things have struck me.

Of course it goes without saying I do feel huge sympathy for Lawlor’s family who had a lot of awful stuff to deal with as it was without all the hooker allegations on top of it.

That aside the things that have struck me this week has concerned the Sunday Independent backlash and the outpourings of horror from the general public. It appeared to gain momentum on Monday after being dealt with on the radio stations as well as being spread all over the dailys and internet.

The first thing I find mad is the hands thrown up to face in shock at the Independent for publishing the story at all. It is as if people are saying they are not really interested in that type of piece and I have to say I have my doubts there. Hey didn’t they buy the paper with that thrust all over the front.

While I know many people would not have realised the full content and wrong information in the piece, people are mad for stuff like that.

The commentary at it has passed bears more than a passing resemblance between this and the mass hysteria and aggressiveness to the media following Diana's death in Britain.

People poured scorn on the tabloids as well as the unhealthy public interest in so-called celebrities – it didn’t really last that long.

How many years on from that are we and just look at the magazine stands at Heat, OK, Hello, etc etc.

There are more magazines than ever and certainly more titles than then. You have magazines where 'celebs' sell themselves to the gossipy ones where paparazzi provide the juicy photographs, the magazine stands are packed full of them.

I do believe in the integrity of the vast majority of our journalists, I know someone can be libelled even if the story is true (tough obviously I am not talking about Liam Lawlor here, honest don’t sue me) and I know that you cannot libel the dead. And I would loath it if our media went down the tabloid salacious route entirely (okay I know it has its moments, sometimes often) but as I said I do believe in the integrity of journalists. Getting it right is the cornerstone of the vast majority of journalists’ ethos.

In saying that, serious errors and bad judgements were made over the weekend which brings me to the other thing that I find bizarre about this whole thing and that is Liam Lawlor is swiftly becoming a saint. Mmmhhh absolutely bizarre.

This will hit the Indo hard, for how long – who knows? It will be interesting to watch how this goes on, for how long and how hard.

Cynically I have a sneaking suspicion that Irish people forget a lot of things.

Oh and on an aside, I was texted the first Lawlor joke last night but I don’t want to post it here and have to do a Sunday Indo and delete it at a later date but it made me laugh hard. Apart from which we all know this is the internet and if it has been posted online, it can be found again, no matter if deleted or not.

And in a shameless plug here's a pic I took around 8ish this morning showing the day as it started.

Wet morning


Paige A Harrison said...

Red Mum, have to say I love the photo. Had a quick flickr - love the bridge in Stephen's Green (Sept 05).

(You a professional photographer?)

Red Mum said...

Thanks Paige! I have studied photography but am really enjoying my digital camera as you can see by the amount of pics I have been taking and putting on my flickr account.