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  • seandodson 11:35 am on May 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , freedom of the press, independent, , , prior restraint, spartacus, sunday herald, super injunctions,   

    Defying the latest superinjunction is an “I am Spartacus” moment for Twitter 

    The right of individuals or organisations to prevent journalists reporting on their activities – the rule of prior restraint – has been around for almost as long as newspapers themselves. Injunctions- often served at the last minute – have been viewed as an oppressive form of censorship from the 18th century at least.

    More recently, like some legal version of the hospital superbug, the rule of prior restraint has mutated into the super injunction, which prevents journalists from not only publishing sensitive details that would otherwise remain hidden, but from even reporting on the fact that an injunction has been served.

    This has led to the alarmingsituation of the Independent newspaper blacking out whole sentences from its front pages (right), creating an image of censorship that reminds starkly of the last years of apartheid South Africa. While the Sunday Herald, and many European papers, have been free to splash the name of the promiscuous athlete without too much fear of retribution. Such a state of affairs makes the law look both clumsy and wrong.

    Of course rich celebrities, footballers, politicians and even prominent journalists deserve the luxury of privacy. The desire for privacy is a basic human need. But for our democracy to function as strongly as it always has done so in the UK, freedom of expression should trump the need for privacy in the eyes of the law.

    It is heartening, therefore, that the social media site Twitter, and its chorus on users, should defy the growth of the super-injunction in such an successful fashion. The latest estimates are that 900 people an hour are currently defying the ban on revealing the name of the footballer who had an affair with Imogen Thomas, an otherwise forgotten “star” of Big Brother. It is an “I am Spartacus” moment that defies authority and shares the blame across tens of thousands of users. In the process the super injunction is rendered an expensive folly.

    It is not our parliament, nor our judges, nor the European courts, nor even journalists, that are currently defending our right to freedom of expression. But hundreds and thousands of internet users who are brave enough to defy the ban.

  • seandodson 10:51 am on April 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , independent,   

    More life in the old weasel: The Independent is to launch a Saturday edition of its daily spin-off newspaper i next month. Cover price just 30p. That’s less a weekend paper for less than a packet of Rizlas – regular size.

  • seandodson 1:11 pm on March 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , independent, newspaper sales   

    ABC figures just in. The combined Independent (The Indy + i) is now outselling the Guardian.

    The Independent’s publishers – Lebedev Holdings – today trumpeted the figures as taking the combined daily print circulations of the Independent titles well above that of The Guardian. In a press statement they noted that the combined circulation of i and The Independent is now 358,227 versus The Guardian on 262,612.

  • seandodson 9:45 am on November 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: independent, royal coverage,   

    Goodness I am bored with the royal wedding already. Oh for the glory days of the Independent, when it refused to do royal stories at all. Challenged with the the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson it stuck to its principle, but handled the story in an obique way. I can’t remember the story exactly, or find a link, so I will have to paraphrase, but it wrote that traffic in London had been disrupted by road closures due to “an event” at Westminster Abbey. Damning the couple with feint coverage.

  • seandodson 10:20 am on October 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: creative review, , freesheet, , independent, ,   

    The Creative Review takes apart i – the mini-Indy launched yesterday – and finds it already deep into freesheet territory.

    … does i really offer a quick-fix version of The Independent? There are opinion pieces for sure, but with news pages that segue a story on whether Bert from Sesame Street is actually gay with a smaller piece on the re-examination of the Nazi foreign ministry, it’s much nearer Metro territory than it thinks.

    The analysis is useful, but not as detailed as that offered by Jim Waterson, an Oxford student, who blogs at World of Pop. Waterson compares the i with its big sister, the Independent proper:

    “So far, so Metro. But if the words have weight behind them then I’m interested. By the time I get to the newsagents to buy a copy I’ll probably have scanned the BBC News headlines on my BlackBerry and know what’s going on. If I pay, I want content that I can’t get for free on my phone. If it contains more than agency copy then I’ll be tempted to buy it for a journey: anything to escape the cute animal pics and dreary writing found in the freesheets.”

  • seandodson 5:20 pm on October 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , independent, , ,   

    First look at i – the independent’s compact 20p version – which goes on sale tomorrow. Have to say that from these publicity shots I am a bit disappointed. Cheryl Cole and Wayne Rooney says “same old, same old” to me. Hope the reality is a bit more brave new world. The old trade could do with a new product to stir things up.

  • seandodson 10:37 am on October 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , independent, ,   

    Alexander Lebedev to launch a new quality national newspaper next Tuesday. Called i, it will priced just 20p and be a spin-off of the Independent (which he owns along with the London Evening Standard). Great news, good idea, but will it spell the death of the dear old Independent?

    • Samppa 4:06 pm on October 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      20P ? It does not promise good to finnish paperindustry when negoatining price of printing paper.

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