Commission on Irish public service broadcasting must have a broader remit, says NUJ
10 December 2019
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ireland has urged the government to broaden the remit of the proposed commission on the future of public service broadcasting to include all media.
Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish secretary said a commission limited to public service broadcasting would be a "missed opportunity for a strategic review of all aspects of the media in Ireland". He added:
"The NUJ cautiously welcomes the idea of a commission and would welcome clarification of the terms of reference and membership. For many years this union has been calling for a commission on the future of the media - print, broadcast and digital - covering all aspects of ownership, control, market dominance, employment standards and measures to address the lack of diversity and representation of many groups. While action to address the future of public service broadcasting is welcome, there is a compelling case for a wider commission. There is no reason why such a commission could not be established with a broad remit but examining public service broadcasting in the first instance.
"Any examination of broadcasting in Ireland should consider what is expected of public service broadcasting but there is also a need to examine how all media organisations granted licences operate. For instance, it is impossible to talk about broadcasting in Ireland today without considering the policy of Communicorp in banning selected journalists and representatives of certain media organisations."
Reacting to Richard Bruton, the communications minister's statement in relation to RTÉ, Séamus Dooley said the NUJ welcomed increased funding and would await a response from the broadcaster before issuing a comprehensive response. He expressed "concern" at the minister’s reference to meeting RTÉ half way. He said successive governments have failed in their obligations to RTÉ and there can be no more kicking the can down the road safely past the next election date.
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