NewsBrands Ireland statement on the Future of Media Commission

Ann Marie Lenihan, CEO of NewsBrands Ireland, said: “The news media industry welcomes the launch of the Future of Media Commission and its recommendations aimed at sustaining high quality journalism.

However, we are 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.

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. This is a global issue and the Commission need to broaden the scope of their research beyond Europe and examine developments currently taking place on a global level, particularly in Australia.”