NewsBrands Ireland ‘extremely concerned’ about media commission

Future of Media Commission described as a missed opportunity by representative body

 

The representative body for national newspapers has criticised the make-up of the new Future of Media Commission and expressed “extreme concern” in relation to its terms of reference.

The commission, which was established by the Government on Tuesday, will examine the future of broadcast, print and digital journalism at a time when the funding model used by the industry for many decades is no longer sustainable.

Ann Marie Lenihan, chief executive of NewsBrands Ireland, welcomed its formation, but said she was “disappointed by the lack of representation on the commission of individuals with direct experience in the Irish news publishing industry”.

“We are calling on the commission to add an additional member or members with significant experience in Irish news publishing at a local and national level. Local input from news publishers is crucial here to address the unique challenges faced by news publishers,” she said.

“In addition, we are extremely concerned that the terms of reference do not mention the role and impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms with regards to the sustainability of a healthy news media.

“There is a missed opportunity here to examine the particular role of the digital advertising supply chain, and whether it incentivises the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation, whether it is operating fairly and transparently, and whether it is funnelling advertising revenues away from content producers.

“The terms of reference need be amended urgently to ensure these important issues are addressed.”