The different approaches to press regulation in the USA, Britain and Ireland

This essay details the different approaches to press regulation between USA, Britain, and Ireland along the lines of the different period in which press regulation took place, regulation bodies, principles, and control-ability.

Freedom of Speech, as a starting point of press regulation, will therefore always be one of the main topics regarding press regulation. Currently, Ireland is on place 15 (from total 180) of the World Press Freedom Index of 2019, the United Kingdom is on place 33 and the United States are on place 48 (RSF, 2019a). The ranking shows how the countries deal with those seven indicators: Pluralism (degree of opinion representation), media independence, environment and self-censorship (operation environment of the media), legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.


Britain has long established its press councils whereas the press council for Ireland is comparatively new. The USA is yet to set up a press council. There aren’t any active press councils in united states. Countries might not have press councils thanks to the politics, economics, legalization or within the culture of the country. Within the USA it’s mainly owing to the prevailing law system that they have, that handles a lot around media/press regulation. Some countries have ombudsmen, that are (mostly senior journalist/media) people that handle complains and recommends remedies. Since 1967 ombudsmen exist within the United States yet, when is compared to e.g. Japan (1922) is relatively late (ONO, 2018).


The main differences in the written principles are (1) where they are embedded, (2) range of validity, (3) number of principles, (4) content of the principles. In the USA they are embedded in the law system, unlike the principles in Britain and Ireland (UNESCO, 2014; Lewis, 2017). In the USA the principles have an absolutism status (Lewis, 2017), in Britain exist exceptions if the principles will be in huge confrontation with the public interest (the public interest outrank the principles). There is scarce information with respect to this for the Irish Principles. The number and the content of the principles differ extremely between the USA and Britain/Ireland. Britain is more precise in their principles (more separations between the principles) in comparison to Ireland. An example is that Britain has a special antidiscrimination principle:

  “The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or to any physical or mental illness or disability. Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless these are genuinely relevant to the story.” (IPSO, 2018)

As distinguished from USA and Britain, Ireland has one extra principle regarding the press regulation of the regulatory authority and complain body of the country. Another interesting point is that because the freedom of speech is embedded in the law in the USA, they can’t forbid also negative outcomes of freedom of speech, like hate speech (Lewis, 2017). With a closer look to online media/social press regulation in those three countries, we can see a hugely different approach between USA and EU (Britain, Ireland). The USA decided to not regulate or tax it (Lewis, 2017), but it exists a copyright clause: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, since 1998 (UNESCO, 2014). This Act supported the fundamentally no-restriction attitude because it enables the USA to restrain publications. Lewis (2017) opinion is that the pressure mainly comes from the Silicon Valley and all the big firms there: “Silicon Valley executives hate regulation and will move to block it”. As a result, the frustration level in the EU is high, which wants to regulate them. Their latest statement was: “regulate yourselves (and not just a charade), or we will regulate you” (Lewis, 2017). In Europe, the E-Commerce Directive handle internet intermediaries so far (UNESCO, 2014).


The market is through ownership concentration controlled in all three countries. Differences occur in the different ways of content control. The US, Britain, and Ireland have a high to very high concentration of media plurality and ownership even though all of them have some restrictions on this issue. It is an ongoing concern.

Britain and Ireland are one of the main regulated countries of western Europe. In general counts everything above 30% of the market share that is owned by one person as excessive. In Europe, the main national and regional newspapers are typically divided between less than a half dozen owners. In the United States, there are more groups, but a small number have a very dominant position in the large city and regional press. McQuail (2010). In the USA Bertelsmann counts as the most suspicious case regarding ownership concentration. He owns over 30 radio stations, 280 publishing outlets, and 15 record companies (University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2010). In Britain 60-70% of the market is controlled by three companies, mainly newspaper publisher (RSF, 2019b), one of the famous person is Rupert Murdoch, who owns The Sun, News of the World, Daily Mirror (Brady, 2018), Times, Sunday Times, Sky Television, BSkyB and eventually more. In Ireland most is owned by Independent News and Media (INM) and RTE (Freedom House, 2016).

As an example, the FCC of the USA have the restriction that one person can (only) own one of the top-four local television stations but many undermine this restriction through Merger and Acquisitions or Joint Ventures (Freedom House, 2017a). In Britain exist the regulation that broadcaster can (only) own a limited amount of newspaper interest. This doesn’t include interest in satellite broadcasters (McQuail, 2010). In Ireland, one of the restrictions is that it is not allowed to own one of the fourth biggest radio and TV firms if you already own one of the biggest newspapers (Smyth, 2018). Media control is in each of the European countries/ states different. Each state of the EU has different rules under the umbrella of the EU rules. In the EU you don’t sell your product once, you sell it per country, e.g. once for Germany and once for Ireland (Smyth, 2018). In the USA in all the states the same, you sell your product (e.g. a movie) license only once to the country.

Cooking African Yam Porridge on a budget in Dublin

Do you know that you can make yourself a very nice pot of yam porridge without having to break the bank with just 6 euros! Yam porridge is one of the popular dishes in Nigeria and can also be described as the fastest meal to prepare when you feel extremely hungry.

Here are the ingredients you will need to prepare this sumptuous meal; A tuber of yam, palm oil, salt, maggi seasoning, spinach from tesco, peppers, (dry or fresh which ever one you prefer), onions and dry fish, liver, beef (optional if you want to live large).

steps to follow when preparing Yam porridge: Peel the skin of the yam to reveal the white edible part, wash in cold water, put in a pot, add water, turn on the stove heat and place the pot of yam, allow to boil for like 10 mins, when you notice the yam is getting a bit soft (pierce with fork), add the fresh pepper and onion, leave to boil for 5mins,add the palm-oil, salt to taste and seasoning, the spinach or whatever vegetable you are using should always come last.

The measure of water fro the yam porridge is dependent on you as the more water you use to cook the yam the more porridgey (if that is actually a word) your yam porridge looks!

Mary McAleese becomes second Female Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin By Ufuoma Ughakpoteni

Caption: McAleese putting on the Chancellors robe with the help of Trinity College Provost Patrick Prendergast

Former president Professor Mary McAleese was officially inaugurated as Chancellor of Trinity College on Friday [12th] December 2019 as the second female Chancellor of the College.
The event commenced with a formal introduction of Professor McAleese by the Provost of the college Patrick Prendergast, before she was officially inaugurated as the Chancellor of the University.
Speaking at the ceremony in the provost’s house, Provost Prendergast said, “Trinity is honored and very lucky to have her as the head of the university. Trinity has a mission and a positivity plan to fearlessly engage in actions that advance the cores of a pluralistic, just and sustainable society. Chancellor McAleese embodies this mission indeed pluralism, justice and of course fearless are exactly the adjectives that comes to mind in connection with her”.
Caption: McAleese putting on the Chancellors robe with the help of Trinity College Provost Patrick Prendergast

McAleese who said the declaration of her commencement in Latin, a Trinity tradition and put on the chancellor robe before addressing her audience said,

“This university is something very special and unique and with God in the years that fly ahead I will honor the trust and the faith that you have placed in me and in those that elected me in this position, that definitely is my

intention”. She said

The new Chancellor in her speech thanked the Provost, members of the university community and friends for the honor of becoming the chancellor of
the doyen of Irish University. She said “it is a source of great pride to the Irish people that we have this jewel in the academic prime here in the heart of the capital city and have had it for so many years, so I feel particularly proud as someone who walked through the door for the first time in 1975 to attend the interview for the Reid professorship… I remember coming through that door feeling a sense of awe and wonder”.
She also went further to praise the University for the opportunities she gave her gave her to perform in a national stage and an international stage, the life and confidence it gave her, her child and so many students to face the world knowing they were well equipped and better equipped than many.

“I think it is thanks to Jonathan that women have been given the opportunity to shine, to make their mark in the world and to contribute among men today, to perform well among and three Trinity women who were the first through the door who were the first barristers to practice not just in Ireland but through the world… they made headlines all over the world”. She said…

Professor McAleese has a long-standing history with Trinity College, being an Alumnus of the prestigious college, having held the position of Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology from 1975 to 1987 and been involved in the numerous events and initiatives held by the university in subsequent years.
She is a native of Northern Ireland (Belfast), a Journalist, holds an honors degree in law, has written several important books and became the first pro-vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast in 1994.
Her position as chancellor of Trinity College will involve overseeing important ceremonies such as commencement ceremonies when various degrees in Trinity College are awarded, as well as deciding who is awarded honorary Degrees.
McAleese replaces Mary Robinson, who is also the former president and was elected as the first woman chancellor in 1998.
“Trinity is honored and very lucky to have her as the head of the university. Trinity has a mission and a positivity plan to fearlessly engage in actions that advance the cores of a pluralistic, just and sustainable society. Chancellor McAleese embodies this mission indeed pluralism, justice and of course fearless are exactly the adjectives that comes to mind in connection with her”.

L-R: Professor Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson

My Top 10 new year songs, you should have in your playlist.

This year I would be sharing a list of newly released songs, I think are bangers each week and a must have in your playlist. Here are some of the best releases so far for me and if you’ve got any to share kindly drop them in the comment section below. Enjoy!

1.Joeboy – “All For You”
2. Kizz Daniel – Jaho
3. Kelvyn Boy – Yawa No Dey ft. M.anifest
4. Thutmose & Rema – Love in the Morning
5. Sarkodie – Anadwo ft. King Promise
6. Amindi, Tessellated & Valleyz – Pine & Ginger [Remix] (feat. Popcaan & Kranium)
7. Tion Wayne ft. One Acen – 2/10
8. Boj ft Tiwa Savage – Your Love (Mogbe)
9. Kelvyn Boy – Mea ft. Joey B
10. Afro B – Mad Mad Mad (Fiya Dance)

Dublin trial for another tiger kidnap suspect

Fri, Oct 18, 2019, 12:00

The Criminal Court saw evidence of the CCTV footage of Ms Lawlor was led to the post office at Bayside by a suspected masked intruder. Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

By Ufuoma Ughakpoteni

A Dublin man accused of robbing Bayside post office and false imprisonment of three women in September 2014 stood trial at the Circuit Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin after he was refused bail when he appeared at Dublin District Court.

Mr Patrick Carroll (49), of Forest Way, Rivervalley, Swords is charged with three counts of false imprisonment, burglary, robbery at Bayside post office, threatening to kill the three women and unauthorized taking of a car at Seabury Drive, Malahide, on September 25, 2014.

During the trial Ms Lawlor who was called in to testify as a witness described how she was abducted alongside her daughter and Ms. Gabriela by two masked and armed intruders in the early hours of the morning and driven to different locations before the post office was robbed.

According to Ms Lawlor, the two men broke into her home, tied the hands of her daughter, Ms Gabriella and herself. Also, they used tapes to cover their eyes before bundling them into Ms Lawlor’s Nissan Qashqai. They were later joined by a third raider whom she described as a younger man with a Dublin accent and was much nicer to them in a Volkswagen Golf at a field in an unknown location.

On the way to the field, Ms Lawlor told the jury her phone began to ring in the car and the driver, who she referred to as ‘Number 2’asked, ‘Who the fuck is ringing you at this hour of the morning? Who did you call? Did you make a call?’

After her phone rang in the car, her daughter suggested to them it was one of the neighbours calling to calm the situation.

She said the ‘Number 1’ man told her “we are going to shoot you, we are going to break your daughter’s arm and we are going to set the car on fire and we are going to kill you” at that stage she got very obsessed about her daughter.

Ms Lawlor said one of the raiders who she called ‘Number 1’ got very angry, beat, threatened and punched her in the chest a good few times when she told them the post office safe was on a timer and the ‘Number 2 guy’ told him that was enough after he hit her. She said they drove her alone to the post office hours later and robbed the cash.

She described how she spat in the backseat of the raiders’ car where she laid and pulled out a strand of her hair to leave DNA on the journey to the post office. She told the court: “If I died, I wanted Gardai to know I’d been in the car”.

She said ‘Number 3’ later joined them in the post office and he brought the other two women inside at a later stage. She said she overheard ‘Number 2’ on the phone to Number 1’ who stayed back in the car, assuring him everything is okay the women were tied up and she saw a small black handgun with him.

According to her, at about 6:15am, footsteps were heard outside and she hoped it was the post office security guard, that was coming to calm the robbers, she told them it must be the manager of the post office who resumes early.

Ms. Lawson said, the intruders successfully opened the safe and she suggested they use a post bag to pack the money, because she knew the bag could be linked to the raid.

The prosecutors lawyer, Barrister Kerida Naidoo provided evidence of the CCTV footage from the post office environment which showed Ms. Lawlor being led to the entrance of the post office by a masked man, a replica of the sac bag used by the robbers to pack the money and photocopies of some of the traceable notes from the post office.

Carroll has been remanded in custody ahead of the continued court hearing on Monday next week.


Hidden Mystery behind sniper in Nigeria

Did you know depression could be the face of someone who seems constantly happy, and looking out for others? It is never written in the face of an individual or easily noticed.

 Zika was 23 when she gave in to depression and no one around her noticed, she was the ‘life of the party’, a shoulder to lean on, constantly putting others before herself, always happy.

image from: Nigeria health watch

She got the attention she needed when we read her suicide note but by then it was already too late. She was depressed for 2 years, she tried speaking out especially to her parents but the typical response of an average African parent ‘God forbid, you can’t go through depression, do you know what depression is?’ was all she got.

Zika had always been pressured to be the ideal child, to suit the role of her African parents, studied a course she was uninterested in to make them happy, always wanting to please them, her friends admired her because she seemed happy with her parents choices for her, she embodied her parents passion like it was hers.

  “We need a country where depression is not taken as a joke but treated with utmost seriousness. Forget the popular saying by Nigerians; ‘Depression no dey do black man’ it is a lie, it is real! And I have lost someone I love to it”.

However, a time came when Zika was numb emotionally and had little motivation to do anything. Her friends noticed but they thought just in a bad mood because she had lost a close relative. As friends, they tried to get her out of the ‘bad mood’ every time or so they thought. Being the kind of person, she was, she played along.

But then a day came when she made a shocking revelation to one of her friends, that she is depressed and has been seeing a therapist, who advised her to open up to her closet friend which happened to be Amanda, since her parents were immune to her suffering. Amanda said “I laughed out so loud, and told her in pidgin English that, ‘Sis, depression no dey do black man, that therapist just dey chop your money’ and I dragged her back to our fun night so she can get out of her ‘bad mood’”. Few days later Amanda got to learn that Zika ended her life with the poisonous insecticide ‘sniper’ it was such a heartbreaking news because she could have been helped if only, she was taken more seriously.

“We need a country where depression is not taken as a joke but treated with utmost seriousness. Forget the popular saying by Nigerians; ‘Depression no dey do black man’ it is a lie, it is real! And I have lost someone I love to it”.

According to the American psychiatric Association, Depression a (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home

In Nigeria, it is no longer a hidden fact that most people suffer from this mental illness, but fail to admit to it due to the nonchalant behavior of family and friends.             And due to this, they cut their lives short.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says, while the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship breakup or chronic pain and illness, poverty, cyber bullying, violence and abuse etc.

In Nigeria, suicide rates are high amongst vulnerable groups who experience poverty, discrimination, such as refugees and migrants, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons. By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.

It is estimated by WHO that around 20 per cent of global suicides are due to the consumption of the deadly popular brand of insecticide, Sniper. Although some of these victims used other methods to end their lives. Worldwide, an estimated three million cases of pesticide poisoning occur every year, resulting in an excess of 250,000 deaths. However, the powerful pesticide, Sniper is readily accessible at a very affordable price in every shop across Nigeria and in many households.

Hardly a week passes by without news of suicide cases in Nigeria. Some affected families remain silent and stay away from media due to the stigma attached to this death.

But while many nations have discovered the importance of mental health by setting up functional systems to at least mitigate the number of incidents through proactive actions, Nigeria, which is ranked number one in West Africa in suicide rate, has no clear-cut programs or law to address the increasing scourge.

Nigeria, which still relies on a colonial framework (Lunacy Act of 1958) as the only law that has anything connected to mentally unstable persons, with only a few psychologists and an intangible number of qualified psychiatric specialists, is still folding its hands while an increasing number of its citizens are fast killing themselves through suicide act.

Meanwhile, The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) explained that the agency is doing everything possible to regulate dangerous substances in Nigeria. NAFDAC announced that they would direct a change in the packaging of Sniper. Christiana Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, said that Sniper containers “could be made difficult to open, or turned into a spray rather than the usual known liquid contents.” The announcement came after considerable commentary about the fact that these victims and other members of the society seem to have very easy access to this powerful poisonous chemical. The question about whether Sniper and other poisonous chemicals should be banned is a growing conversation in Nigeria and several health professionals weighed in on the question of whether NAFDAC’s announcement was an effective and sufficient policy response to the issue.

Initiatives should be put into action to ensure that proper care is received from both professionals and programmes like Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) which helps to highlight some of the simple things that we as non-professionals can do for each other, to provide social, emotional, and psychological support when we have troubles.


“Recording Artist and Co-Founder of QAP Photography, Olokun Adefolarin, speaks on the road to fame”

Folarin Oluokun, is a Dublin based photographer and musician who happens to be a student at Griffith College has been making waves in his career path both as an Artiste and co-founder QAP photography. He has been very successful with his performances, especially in the western part of Nigeria where he is popularly known.

In a chat with Circular team, he opens up on the challenges so far and how he combines both talents with his studies.

Circular: Can we meet you?

FO:  I am Oluokun Adefolarin Adekunle, a student of Griffith College, a musical artiste and also a photographer.

Circular: So, tell us about your photography, what does QAP stand for?

FO: QAP stands Queen and Prince Photography, it started in the year 2018 with my sister as the founder after which we employed some hands.

Circular: How did you discover your interest in photography?

FO: The passion I have for creativity and beautiful pictures. Behind every picture is a story or a time or a feeling that I like to capture the moment, because no matter what happens later, that moment will never change. I also have believed that creativity is a wellspring of virtues. Music and Photography are the two things that stood out for me and I believe they have a lot in common.

Circular: Are there specific products or instruments you like to work with?

 FO: I Prefer to use DSLR cameras, but so far, I have used Nikon d40 and Canon d4000. I prefer the canon because it gives me clearer pictures and they are more user friendly, the way the cameras are built and the general outlook just works with how many minds work, it also gives more options to control my picture.

Circular: How well do you collaborate with other photographers or assistants?

FO: I enjoy working with other people, because you get a second insight or opinion as the popular saying “Two heads is better than one” I believe when you have the opinion of other photographers the work only gets better and easier to achieve.

Circular: Do you possess any formal trainings or certification in this field?

FO: Yes, I learnt a bit of Photography.

Circular: Which is your favorite lens and why?

FO: I like to use a “Prime Lens”. Majorly because it gives the freedom to create effects even from the raw image file.

Circular: Aside being a photographer, we learnt that you are also a student and a Musical Artiste. Tell us about that.

FO: Yeah, I am currently undergoing my higher Diploma at Griffith College. I am also an artist and I write my own songs It’s all about proper planning and scale of preference. Days I don’t have classes, I go out with the camera and take pictures and as for music I could get inspiration anywhere, even in the bus and begin to write down my lyrics. I stick to school schedule, so I don’t have to play catch up later.

Circular: What brought about your passion for music?

 FO: Self-expression in a positive creative way. Music has had a way of influencing my mood. Started making music to express my bottled-up emotions, while growing up I always had issues expressing myself but with music I could easily set those emotions free.

Circular: Can you please tell us about your creative process?

 FO: Different songs come with different processes. Sometimes I hear a beat and just challenge myself to write the songs and the melody from there I try to create the best. I sometimes feel emotionally great and turn it into music.

 Circular: What would be your definition of an average?

FO: An average day for me would be; wake up, make people around me smile/happy, on a school day attend my classes and during the weekends take pictures or write down lyrics (depending on how I feel), sing or play the guitar. Listen to new music to expand my boundaries.

Circular: Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music? Where does your inspiration come from?

FO: No hidden meaning in my music. My first song was about how I miss my mum, but it wasn’t explicitly stated.

Circular: Do collaborate with others? What is the process like?

FO: Yes, I collaborate with others like Lil Torn, Mr Piyano, Jay Buzz, Jatrey and its basically when I have heard their song and they have heard mine and we feel so impressed with each other that we decide to collaborate.

I would like to collaborate with great artistes such as;Timi Dakolo, Davido, Cobhams, Johnny Drille, Simi, Asa, Praiz, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Tuface just to name a few in the near future.

Circular: How do you respond to the attention and engage your fans?

 FO: Interactions with fans of my music is usually on social media platforms such as; Instagram, WhatsApp etc.

Circular: Tell us about your performance have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?

FO: Yes, I have stage fright but the love of singing and making people happy usually overshadows the fright.

Circular: which would you recall as your favorite venue?

FO: I don’t really have a venue. So long as there is an audience, I am good to go.

Circular: Thank you very much for your time and we look forward to seeing more creative works from you.

FO: Thank you.

Fun Post

Paris Hilton’s new pet monkey, Baby Luv, caused some problems during a lingerie shopping spree in Las Vegas last weekend, the New York Post reported.

Baby Luv was biting and clawing Hilton’s face when she walked into the Agent Provocateur shop at Caesar’s Palace.

Paris managed to pull Baby Luv off her and hooked his leash to a cabinet while she rang up $4,000 worth of bras and panties and a bullwhip, according to the Post.

Later that night, at Kelly Osbourne’s 21st birthday bash, Baby Luv escaped from Hilton – delaying the start of the proceedings by 20 minutes until staffers found him.

Hilton, 26, did not suffer any damage during the brief attack, but she did require treatment on the scene for second-degree make-up disturbance. Following treatment, she hooked the monkey to a leash, chained it to a cabinet, and proceeded with her shopping.

According to one of Hilton’s assistants, Baby Luv became enraged when she discovered they weren’t stopping at PetSmart first, as Hilton had promised.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.