Commission on Future of Media urgently need to ensure independence and plurality

April 17, 2018

The Social Democrats are today calling for the setting up of a Commission on the Future of the Media to ensure media independence and minimise the potential for the over-concentration of media ownership with any one individual or company.

The party’s co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:

“The recent allegations of a significant data breach at Independent News and Media are deeply concerning and unsettling. The protection of journalists’ sources is sacrosanct and there can be no legal or ethical justifications for compromising them.

“Our democracy can’t function properly without a strong and independent media. The media plays a pivotal role in helping to both lead and shape opinions on matters of fundamental importance to society, in particular in holding government and powerful institutions, businesses and individuals to account.

“The political system needs to urgently step up and do what it can to protect the independence of our media and ensure that there is sufficient diversity of ownership so that there can be no overbearing influence from any one individual or company.”

Deputy Murphy added:

“We are requesting that time be set aside in this week’s Dáil schedule to allow a debate on the recent revelations and continuing developments regarding INM and the ODCE. We are also proposing the setting up of a Commission to examine the future of media to look at the entire media landscape in terms of ownership, funding, ads and, ultimately, the public interest. Ireland has been described as ‘High Risk’ due to our lack of media plurality. This is because too much of our media is concentrated in the hands of a very small number of extremely powerful individuals.”

ENDS

17 April 2018