Fianna Fáil Policy Document on Future of Journalism


Fianna Fáil Policy Document on Future of Journalism ‘A Welcome Step in the Right Direction’

Call for Implementation of Five Point Plan to Support Journalism – including VAT reform and end to draconian defamation laws

31st July 2018 – NewsBrands Ireland, the representative body for all national newspapers, print and online, has welcomed today’s publication of Fianna Fáil’s policy paper ‘Newspaper Publishing – A Policy to Sustain High Quality Journalism in Irish Public Life’.

NewsBrands Ireland Chairman, Vincent Crowley stated ‘today’s policy document represents a welcome step forward in developing an effective national policy response to support independent journalism in Ireland. As ‘fake news’ has emerged as a national and international challenge, we welcome the document’s acknowledgement of the critical role of newspapers in the democratic life of the country. The document shows a clear understanding of the stark challenges faced by the sector.’

‘In particular, we welcome the commitment for the provision of funding for the development of newspaper journalism and to establishing a Minister for the Media. However we believe much more can be done in relation to VAT than set out in the policy document. We also believe the matter of reform in the area of defamation is long overdue.’

‘However what we now need, as a matter of some urgency, is an agreed political consensus on the required policy steps necessary to ensure independent journalism has a strong and robust future. Doing nothing is not an option. There is now broad agreement on the need to support Irish journalism. We urge all political parties to work together to forge a policy programme to deliver the change required.’

NewsBrands Ireland and Local Ireland (the representative body for local newspapers) has launched a national campaign ‘Journalism Matters’ to drive the change necessary to sustain strong independent journalism.

NewsBrands’ Five Point Plan for Independent Journalism is as follows:


  1. Reduce VAT – in Budget 2019 the government should apply a 5% VAT rate to newspapers and digital products and ultimately reduce VAT to 0% as is the case in Britain and other EU countries.
  2. Reform Ireland’s draconian defamation laws to ensure the stories that need to be told, are told.
  3. Appoint a Minister for the Media, who will have full oversight of our complex media landscape.
  4. Establish a News Publishers Media Fund – to drive innovation and investment.
  5. Invest in training support schemes for journalists.