(Indy picture via @suttonnick, with ongoing thanks for his uploading every evening)
(having a bash at putting initial thoughts into a more traditional blog post; opinions obviously welcome)
The Indy’s splash is striking, but it’s already trailing behind the Sunday Herald, which sent its lawyers to loop on Sky News all afternoon, defending its already-infamous front page. The Herald’s website seems to be down at pixel time, suggesting either great success or court-ordered catastrophe.
All credit to the Indy for pouring scorn on these ham-fisted attempts to gag the entire internet (though the Times did it first, as this pic on Virgo Health’s blog shows). But by giving a knowing nod to the breach without repeating it, the Indy underscores the question of what the national media do next with this story, legally and in the interests of online and print audiences.
First the legal minefield: here are a finite number of national newspapers, fairly easy to sue, even if they all decide to break ranks. The Guardian has been particularly cautious, declining to even name the Herald as the paper in question until this evening, lest this be classed as disseminating the story.
Short of moving to the Falklands and relying on intrepid tweeters to smuggle splashes across the border, it’s hard to see the national press declaring a superinjunction bust at this stage. This leaves innuendo and ridicule, which is plenty entertaining.
But where does this skirmish leave readers? Many are curious to see exactly how far each publication is going to push it (I have high hopes for the Sun headline writers on this one), and stories on the superinjunctions are garnering huge numbers of hits, but it’s a frustrating piece to both read and write when the primary source is absent.
The Herald picked at the scab to see what happens. It is showing, instead of merely relaying, the farce that is the UK’s tangled not-quite-privacy law.
Has the Herald become the story, and is it helpful?