By Eimear Phelan
“Freedom of the press is the yardstick used to measure free societies” is just one of the sentiments from the heated and highly contested media debate on Tuesday last week, an event organised for MPS’s Media Week.
The motion, “This house believes the press has a duty not to publish budget leaks,” struck a chord with both the proposition and the opposition. The chair for the night, Paula Sheridan, said she chose the motion as she wanted something topical and current with regards to the media.
Darren Gillen and his teammate Colm Fitzpatrick, first proposition, got the debate started by arguing that while the media promotes debate it should only do so when it has the full facts.
Journalism student, Ceile Varley, spoke for the opposition about the role of the press and the implications for both the media and the public when budget leaks are published.
Team-mate David Gormely pointed out the hypocrisy of the German troika knowing more about the budget than the Irish people it would actually hit.
Journalism student, Grainne Aylward resumed for the proposition by reading portions of the NUJ Code of Conduct. Aylward was popular with the crowd, quoting Banksy and heckling the points of information. She summed up her own argument with the rhetoric “if in doubt leave it out.”
King of Controversy, Jack Maloney, lived up to his name, starting his argument by questioning how “stupid” we think people are. His argument boosted the opposition, stating that people need to know about leaks as it directly concerns them.
Benjamin Gohmann rounded down for the opposition starting out with a statement claiming the proposition had “no clue”. He cleared up what he felt the main confusions about what the differences between leaks and lies are, and rounded off a rousing and engaging debate.
In the end, the proposition Darren and Colm won the peoples’ vote. Both were shocked by their win with Darren asking “How exactly did we win this?”
The debate was just one of the events in MPS’s Media Week. One of the organisers of the week said they had a “fantastic launch” last Monday with some really great acts.
He was delighted with how well things went and said they would like to do things like the live acts outside DCUfm more often.