Here’s some of what I missed

Plenty has happened in recent weeks that I had hoped to blog about in detail, but never got the chance, so here’s a quick round-up of just a few of the bits and pieces that have been and gone without a mention in these quarters.

Media

The Defamation Bill was debated in the Seanad, as details of the Press Council and Press Ombudsman were announced.
Concerns over this legislation have been minimal, apart from the odd whimper coming from publications who would much prefer to force complainants into expensive libel law suits.
The bill repeals the tort of slander and libel, replacing them with the single defamation tort; it also gives journalists the defence of ‘reasonable publication’ (that is to say that the article was published in good faith, every measure was taken to ensure its accuracy and that it was honestly believed to be true at the time of going to press), while also allowing publications to publish an apology without that being an acceptance of liability.
Blurred Keys supplies the various links on the legislation and points out that while the Privacy Bill has been keeping a low profile, McDowell has ensured us that it’s not gone away, you know.

Village Magazine relaunched their website recently too, dropping the ‘magazine’ bit from their domain name and adding a host of new features, from back issues of Vincent Browne’s Magill to daily news updates and even a blog. It’s great to see an Irish publication put serious consideration into the internet, although the existence of a subscriber-wall is, as always, a shame. But does this mean Village could become the first publication to have a working blog? I’m not sure, but I don’t see how it could be called an actual blog if it’s just used to republish the magazine’s articles as it has done so far.

Politics

Pinochet pulled a Haughey and kicked the bucket just in time to dodge the bullet on a lifetime of suspected wrongdoings. This comes after a series of health problems suffered by the former Chilean dictator which ensured the legal process to try him was as slow and fruitless as possible (another tactic plucked straight from the book of CJ).
His death brought about a pretty split public reaction, a schizophrenia that Slugger reckons is a pretty good summary of his general legacy. Apparently Marget Thatcher was saddened.

David McWilliams is looking into the future this Thursday with the latest round of his Leviathan debates. Entitled Ireland 2016: The Pope’s Revenge, the discussion will centre around what’s ahead for the country and what that oh-so significant year will bring us. It sounds like a pretty interesting debate and one made all the more enticing by the presence of not one, but two bloggers; Simon McGarr and Sarah Carey. Congratulations guys and best of luck.
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to attend but if you can’t make it, never fear, the debates will be available for download at some point afterwards.

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