Broadcasting regulator launches Irish media ownership database

DCU School of Communications project will improve transparency, says BAI

The website is devoted to monitoring media ownership in Ireland.

The website is devoted to monitoring media ownership in Ireland.

 

The broadcasting regulator has launched a website that keeps track of the ownership of about 200 media companies operating in the State.

The site, mediaownership.ie, was commissioned by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) from the Dublin City University (DCU) School of Communications.

It allows the public to check the ownership of a database of media businesses that serve Irish audiences at either national, regional or local level, including international companies that have a presence here.

The database, which can also be searched by owners and shareholders and contains A-Z lists of different types of media outlets, was created as part of the regulator’s media plurality remit.

“It was something that we felt needed to be done,” said BAI chief executive Michael O’Keeffe.

Transparency

The aim of the website is to improve transparency, while the information on the site may also “act as an important resource” for the regulator in its examinations of the impact that proposed media mergers might have, he said.

The information about ownership and shareholdings is derived from the Companies Registration Office, the Fame financial analysis database, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, annual reports, company websites and direct communication with media outlets and owners, said project co-ordinator Roddy Flynn from DCU’s School of Communications.

“The goal is to be as comprehensive as humanly possible,” Dr Flynn said.

As it stands, the database reflects media ownership in Ireland up to the end of 2019. It will be updated in the first quarter of 2021 to reflect the position at the end of 2020, and thereafter at yearly intervals.