Let us learn from Aaron Swartz & Lawrence Lessig Part 2

Irish Radio

Every superhero has a wise mentor and Lawrence Lessig was one of Aaron Swartz’(moviemaniacsDE, 2014). Lessig explains how society has come from a tradition of ‘’free Culture’’ how technological advances in human history has brought this ‘free culture’ to the cusps of anarchy(Lessig, 2008).  Once viewing and reading the writings of these two defenders of the ‘Free Culture’ it had me questioning Irelands radios industry and its lack of technological advance from analogue to digital radio.

 Reading Armstrong story were told that RCA was the dominant player in the ‘AM’ Radio Market and RCA used their governmental connections to hold, choke and strangle ‘FM’s Superior technology thus suppressing development. It is frightening to think Irelands dominant radio player is not just a business connection, but it is the Government themselves!(“Raidió Teilifís Éireann,” 2020)

We have to ask why our closest neighbor the UK currently possess one of the world’s biggest digital radio networks and yet there seem to be no major technological advancement in Irish radio.(“Ireland | Countries | WorldDAB,” n.d.)  Irelands independent commercial radio stations are owned by a powerful handful of media moguls and let us not forget about our dominant Semi governmental radio Station being propped up with Commercial advertising. As Lessig’s reminds us ‘Political & commercial powers have what the individuals did not: the Power to stifle the effect of technology!(Lessig, 2008) Is Ireland repeating Americas politically intertwined media mistakes? 

Just glancing at ‘Irelands Economic Analysis of the Audio-Visual sector from 2016’ we could form a few possible answers on where this defiance of advancement is coming from

‘Ireland’s radio broadcasting industry earned an estimated €179.2 million in revenue. The commercial segment accounted for €105.6 million of this revenue, or 59%, whilst RTE accounted for €72.5 million, or 40%. According to data from the Community Radio Forum of Ireland (CRAOL), the community radio segment earned approximately €1 million in revenue in 2016.’ (“technical-annex-economic-analysis-of-the-audiovisual-sector-in-the-republic-of-ireland-final.pdf,” n.d.).

With all this money generated from the analogue system you would have to question will digital radio ever progress in Ireland? In my opinion Irish radio is not just a mirroring Armstrong’s ‘FM’ story but unfortunately Irelands radio story may be insanely worse!


Ireland | Countries | WorldDAB [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://www.worlddab.org/countries/ireland (accessed 11.12.20).

Lessig, L., 2008. Free culture, in: Presentation at the OSCON 2002 Conference. Available: Http://Randomfoo. Net/Oscon/2002/Lessig.

moviemaniacsDE, 2014. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz | full movie (2014).

Raidió Teilifís Éireann, 2020. . Wikipedia.

technical-annex-economic-analysis-of-the-audiovisual-sector-in-the-Republic-of-Ireland-final.pdf, n.d.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/w96Q7/1/

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