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Tribune on Irish Bloggers

JOE BLOGGS BRINGS Rupert Murdoch into the frame during his weekly selection of . Sigla, Dick O'Brien, Damien Mulley, Gavin Sheridan and Alive in Limerick get mentioned in the two items covered by the paper's "News Features" section.

Could Bloggers Get Napstered? Independent News&Media chief executive Tony O'Reilly has a lot of Irish bloggers worried. In an article published in the Sunday Times two weeks ago, O'Reilly denied to an interviewer that the sun was setting on print media.

"It is a sunrise industry," said O'Reilly. "Newspapers are tactile, hugely cheap, reliable, go with a cup of coffee." Brian Carey's piece in the Sunday Times also highlighted concern about online copyright infringement. "O'Reilly has raised the possibility of the European Newspaper Publishers Association bringing a 'Napster-style' action against those who breach newspaper copyright. He said that he raised the issue with other publishers and believed that the print media would have a strong case."

Some Irish bloggers saw this as a declaration of war. Or at least something to be seriously worried about.

Feargal McKay, who writes for Sigla, was credited by Dick O'Brien as being the first to bring attention to it.

Damien Mulley, on the other hand, quotes O'Reilly's son Gavin, hitting out at "participative journalism": "I think participative journalism is a dangerous precedent for our industry. People forget that newspapers have always been an interactive medium, people have always been able to interact with us through the mailbag."

Are O'Reilly and fellow media barons like Rupert Murdoch really contemplating a campaign to stomp out bloggers? Unlikely. Because, as Gavin Sheridan pointed out, Murdoch explicityly embraced blogging earlier in the year in a speech to US newspaper editors: "[Bloggers] may still serve a valuable purpose; broadening our coverage of the news; giving us new and fresh perspectives to issues; deepening our relationship to the communities we serve, so long as our readers understand the clear distinction between bloggers and journalists."

Limerick You're A Lucky So and So. Alive in Limerick reports that following Dolores McNamara's €115m lottery win, another Limerick woman has struck gold--of a Golden Ticket to be precise--finding a real-life 'Wonka' ticket in a Nestle chocolate bar, a promotional tie-in with the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film good for a five-star trip to a Nestle factory in New York.

"As yet it's unclear whether the Limerick woman will be turning into a large blueberry after downing the three-course meal gum or whether she'll be getting stroppy and demanding her own golden goose from Nestle, with disastrous consequences."

Extracted from "Blogopshere" in the Sunday Tribune, 14 August 2005.
Dick O'Brien -- "O'Reilly, blogs and the EFF" (deserves reading in its entirety).
In a major aside, Feargal McKay has pulled his blog and "gone fishing, for a while at least."
Damien Mulley -- "Really Mr. O'Reilly--Sir Tony Wants to Nuke Blogs?
Gavin Sheridan -- "O'Reilly on Blogs, Newspapers"
Alive in Limerick -- "Lucky Limerick"