Union calls for promotion and cash for Irish public service media

THE IRISH government needs to boost funding for public service media across all forms of media and models of ownership, the NUJ has urged in its submission to the Irish Future of the Media Commission. It also needs to create ways to promote public service journalism - including setting up a media foundation, the union said. The NUJ noted that the coronavirus pandemic had exacerbated damaging changes in media consumption and cuts in the media industry that have occurred over the past decade. The NUJ highlighted its news industry

recovery plan – From Health Crisis to Good News – to the commission. This was drafted as the pandemic gripped the economy last spring. The plan is intended to secure the recovery of an industry hit by falling sales and advertising revenues triggered by lockdowns and to bolster the media for a more robust future. The union complained to the commission that multinational

tech companies were continually allowed to evade legal, moral and financial responsibility while they dominated public media space and as the public service media shrank internationally. One of the NUJ’s news recovery plan’s main proposals is a

tax on tech giants that would be ploughed into building up regional and some national media. The union told the

commission that the advent of video-enabled, smart and mobile devices has been exploited by tech giants at the expense of public service broadcasting. The submission said the shift in advertising had exposed the vulnerability, in particular of RTÉ, and brought into sharp focus the need for immediate reform of the licence fee system. The fee evasion rate is currently 13 per cent. The union said the need to fund public

service broadcasting properly was becoming all the more acute because of the proliferation of fake news and targeted disinformation and misinformation on social media. From Health Crisis to Good News

advocates providing public service content through a variety of media outlets. To that end, the NUJ is campaigning for local

news outlets to be recognised as community

assets. Cooperatives and joint initiatives are often models for small community or interest-based publications and should be eligible for funding. The union said that while its primary focus was on content, access to high-speed broadband needed to be improved.

Journalism: Not Just Business uk/where/ireland/

Journalists’ death toll increases to 60 This year’s list features the

LAST year 60 journalists were killed compared with 49 in 2019, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). IFJ records show that the

current number of killings of media professionals is at the

same levels as in 1990 when the organisation first started collating the number of killings and deaths of journalists and media staff. The reports show peaks in the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.

harrowing death of Russian journalist Irina Slavina. The editor of Koza Press

set herself on fire in the city of Nizhny Novgorod to protest against the intimidation and

harassment campaign to silence her. As she burned, she blamed the authorities as bearing responsibility for her action. Anthony Bellanger, IFJ

general secretary, said: “The trends in our publications

Assange remains in jail during appeal

JULIAN ASSANGE, the Wikileaks founder, has been denied bail pending the appeal by the US government against the decision in January not to extradite him to the US from the UK for espionage for publishing hundreds of thousands of US classified documents. Judge Vanessa Baraitser refused to

give Assange bail after she blocked his deportation because of his risk of suicide. He remains in London’s high-security

06 | theJournalist

Belmarsh prison, where he has been for nearly two years.

The judge said that Assange “still has an

incentive to abscond”, highlighting the several years he spent in hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy when he was facing different charges in Sweden. An attorney for the US government said that

other countries, including Mexico, had offered Assange asylum.

The need to fund public service broadcasting was becoming all the more acute because of fake news and targeted disinformation

Not Just Business: NUJ submission to the Irish commission

over the last 30 years but also in 2020 make it clear to all that there is no room for complacency. “Instead, they are an

urgent call to redouble our efforts to mobilise for greater protection of journalists and commitment to the safe practice of journalism.”

From Health Crisis to Good News A recovery plan for the news industry by the NUJ


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