NEWSPAPERS: Future of Media Commission announced in Ireland

Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian.

BY CLAIRE MEADOWS

A Future of Media Commission has been established in order to examine the future of broadcast, print and digital journalism in Ireland, it has been announced.

Announcing the Commission on Tuesday, the Irish government said that its remit will include how public service objectives can be funded in Ireland in a way that is sustainable, ensures independent editorial oversight and delivers value for money to the public.

Those taking part in the Commission include Alan Rusbridger, former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian with Professor Brian MacCraith, former president of Dublin City University chairing the panel.

The commission has been asked to report within nine months and will look at how a strong, robust, independent media sector can survive into the future.

Welcoming the establishment of the Commission, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that it was hoped that the Commission would “chart a pathway” for public service broadcasting and independent media in Ireland.

He said: “A strong, independent media structure is critical for Ireland’s cultural, sporting, creative and political life.  People rely on newspapers, tv, radio and online platforms to find out about local and national issues, to inform them about current affairs, to showcase our culture, to reach out to our diaspora, and to bring the nation together at times of national celebration and reflection. Irish media outlets have always reflected the core principles of objectivity and independence, and at a time when disinformation is on the rise, sustainable and impartial journalism has never been more important.

“The Future of Media Commission will chart a pathway for public service broadcasting and independent media into the future, and I am particularly pleased that Professor Brian Mac Craith, who has been an innovator in education and is a pre-eminent intellectual in Irish public life, has taken on the role of Chairperson.  We need to examine how public service objectives can be funded in a way that is sustainable, ensures independent editorial oversight and delivers value for money to the public, and I look forward to receiving the recommendations of the Commission on this and all aspects of its terms of reference.”

The National Union of Journalists has responded to the announcement criticising the terms of reference and calling for the NUJ to be included in the composition of the Commission.

Members of the Commission and the full terms of reference can be found here.

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