The Oireachtas Committee on Communications is currently considering the future of public service broadcasting in Ireland, in particular the requisite level of public funding required for stations to fulfil their public service objectives. Over the past few months, the Committee has held a number of hearings on the matter, with contributions from RTÉ, TG4, the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland and others. Following on from that overview, the Joint Committee is carrying out a public consultation on the funding of public service broadcasting in Ireland and is seeking submissions from interested parties and stakeholders on the issues involved.
According to the PRII’s Annual Survey 2017, Media Relations forms part of 82% of our members work, so any changes in relation to the media in Ireland will have an impact on our members’ work. Given that, the PRII will be making a submission to the Committee, members are asked to submit any views they have to Frank Condon (firstname.lastname@example.org), the PRII’s Development and Research officer before Monday, January 30th. Particular questions to consider are:
Given the volume of content published by all broadcasters online now, in particular RTÉ, is it right to think of a media market segmented into TV, radio, online or print or are they all converging? Will those definitions and boundaries be appropriate in five or ten years time? If so, should funding for the media in Ireland move away from a focus on broadcasters, to a more platform neutral model?
If sticking with the current model, should independent broadcasters be eligible for an increased amount of the funding from the TV licence (they currently can compete for the broadcasting fund which is 7% of the net TV licence revenue -€14m in 2017)?
Quality journalism and programming from a robust media is seen as important to any well functioning society. Is intervention required from the Government and the Oireachtas to support such media required in the next five to ten years, or are you confident the current regime will continue to work? If intervention is required, what measures other than financial support should be considered?
The full background to the review is available here.