Seminal Moment in history of the Irish newspaper industry as national and local newspapers rally together for ‘Journalism Matters Week’
Campaign will highlight the vital role the press plays in a vibrant democracy and calls on the government to support a number of measures being sought by the newspaper industry to ensure its survival
Journalism Matters video series launched to highlight outstanding examples of public interest journalism
24 September 2018. Today marks the first day of ‘Journalism Matters Week’, a seminal moment in the history of the Irish newspaper industry which will see every single local and national newspaper in the country collectively publishing editorials which celebrate the value of an independent press.
It is a coordinated effort, led by NewsBrands Ireland and Local Ireland, the representative bodies for the local and national newspapers, and is designed to highlight the vital role the press plays in a vibrant democracy and to call on the government to support a number of measures being sought by the newspaper industry to ensure its future.
Irish newspapers, local and national, and the journalists who work for them, are the voice of our people, their communities and regions. Support for Irish journalism matters now more than ever.
The #JournalismMatters campaign calls on the Government to use Budget 2019 to deliver on a five-point-plan for the industry:
- Apply a 5% VAT rate to newspapers and digital products in Budget 2019, ahead of ultimately reducing to 0% once EU laws allow
- Reform Ireland’s draconian defamation laws to ensure that the stories that need to be told, are told
- Appoint a Minister for Media – a single member of the Cabinet should have oversight for all aspects of our complex media landscape
- Establish a News Publishers Media Fund – to drive innovation and investment
- Invest in a training support scheme for all journalists
Journalism Matters video series
News reporting aids in the detection of deeper issues, and at its best, serves to prevent problems from developing or shines a new light on old issues. Without an independent press there to raise questions, scandals slide by unchecked. The ‘Journalism’ Matters video series created by NewsBrands Ireland features 15 examples of outstanding public interest journalism which have affected real change in society: from recent investigative journalism which uncovered wrongdoing or illegal activity, to campaigning journalism which achieved tangible results, to the reporting of issues or stories which change the public discourse and narrative.
Chairman of NewsBrands Ireland, Vincent Crowley said: “The future of Irish journalism is at a crossroads and government inaction now is simply not an option. Without the supports and investment, and clarity on VAT rates, the sector will not be able to thrive and invest, but will falter and publications will be forced to close or at best scale back on the good, independent journalism that has been a bedrock of Irish democracy. The forthcoming budget gives this government the opportunity to send a strong message that it appreciates a vibrant news media industry in this country and is seeking ways to protect it for future generations.”
President of Local Ireland, Frank Mulrennan said:” Aside from the loss to democratic life in our society, the losses will be big in many communities – jobs will go, not just in the newspaper titles, but many of the supporting ones in newsagents and other indirect jobs. Without strong and healthy local newspapers politicians will be challenged in maintaining engagement with the electorate because local newspapers reach at least 1.5 million people across Ireland each week.”
It is vitally important that independent journalism in Ireland is supported as it is in other EU countries. The best way the government could show their support for good Irish journalism is to support the aforementioned measures being sought by the newspaper industry.
For further details, please contact:
Communications Manager, NewsBrands Ireland
087 7779259 firstname.lastname@example.org