We live at a time when longstanding institutions are being shaken and threatened in ways neither they nor we could have expected a generation ago. The print media is the classic example. Newsweek simply stopped printing its print magazine, and hardly anyone noticed. Ad revenues are down, subscription walls are not working, and in general a business model of very long standing is dissolving before our eyes.
But the Irish newspapers take the cake. They have been pushing for a law that would actually require payment for links to their articles. This position has been roundly ridiculed around the world. But here’s something interesting:
The one place you won’t have read about the Irish newspapers’ demands is in an Irish newspaper. Nor will you have read about the fact that the NNI, representing all the national newspapers – including the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and the Examiner – sought in 2012 to have a specific new law created to outlaw linking to articles. You won’t have read it, because not one Irish newspaper printed a drop of ink on this story. Kardashian Baby? News. Efforts to outlaw how the internet works? Not news.