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NUJ welcomes end of uncertainty at Independent News & Media

30 April 2019

The National Union of Journalists has noted the proposed acquisition of Independent News & Media by Mediahuis NV. Reacting to today’s announcement Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary said:

“This announcement is of enormous significance We welcome the announcement, to the extent that it ends speculation about the future of the company. That uncertainty, against the backdrop of boardroom battles and the surveillance of employees on the instruction of senior executives, has undermined the confidence of staff and been extremely damaging to morale.
“We note that the proposed purchaser has a track record of investment in editorial resources and states that it ‘believes unreservedly in independent and quality journalism’.
“I look forward to discussing their plans for all platforms and titles, North and South, with the proposed new owners. In this regard I would call on the current board and management team to remove the threat of compulsory redundancies in the national and regional titles. In terms of the media landscape in Ireland the divestment of their shares in Independent News & Media Plc by the majority shareholders must be seen as a positive development.
“If Mediahuis NV are committed to journalism and are prepared to invest in editorial resources their entry into the Irish media market will be welcomed.
“There are many challenges facing the Irish media industry and we again call on the Irish government to establish a Commission on the Future of the Media in Ireland. The issues of ownership and editorial control are of critical ownership but we also need to address funding models, access to the profession, the promotion of diversity in terms of staff, including gender balance, training and the role of public service journalism in the broadest sense.”