Future of Media Commission costs taxpayer nearly €240,000

Press and radio ads account for bulk of expenditure

Future of Media Commission chairman Brian MacCraith: Body  is being funded through the Department of the Taoiseach. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Future of Media Commission chairman Brian MacCraith: Body is being funded through the Department of the Taoiseach. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

A commission set up to examine the future of media in Ireland has so far cost the taxpayer almost €240,000.

The Future of Media Commission – which has already been hit by the resignation of a high-profile member – is being funded through the Department of the Taoiseach.

A breakdown of expenditure on the commission reveals costs of €237,099 had been incurred up to the beginning of March.

That included more than €142,000 in spending on press and radio advertising to promote the commission’s public consultation process, paid to PHD Media.

A sum of €78,405 was paid out in payroll costs with another €7,973 paid to Cawley Nea TBWA for the creation and recording of a radio advert for the consultation.

Translation costs

Other costs included €1,500 paid out for research and €1,633 for a subscription to accessibility software for the commission website.

Also listed in the database were a €2,074 bill with Europus for translation of the commission’s “Stakeholder Engagement Submissions”.

That was part of about €3,100 spent on Irish translations of website materials, press releases and documents relating to the public consultation.

Other costs included just €96.80 for the creation of a logo for the commission and expenditure of about €1,131 on a website.

With most events being held virtually, the catering bill for the project was just €89 with a further €127 paid out on mobile bills and €106 for newspaper subscriptions.

Resignation issue

The commission was set up by the Government in September 2020 to examine the future of media in Ireland under the chairmanship of Brian MacCraith.

It ran into controversy last month when there were calls for the resignation of one of its members.

Alan Rusbridger: a self-declared worthy editor. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Alan Rusbridger: former editor of the Guardian. File potograph: Oli Scarff/Getty 

Alan Rusbridger had been editor of the Guardian at a time when the paper’s former media columnist Roy Greenslade had been supportive of the IRA.

Mr Rusbridger subsequently stepped down, saying he did not want to become a “distraction” from the commission’s work.

The Department of the Taoiseach did not respond to a request for comment on costs incurred by the commission.

Business Today

Get the latest business news and commentarySIGN UP HERE