Local Ireland expresses concern over membership of newly-established Future of Media Commission

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Local Ireland expresses concern over membership of newly-established Future of Media Commission

Local Ireland has expressed concern about the membership of the Future of Media Commission

Local Ireland, the representative association for local weekly news publishers, has welcomed the launch  of the Future of Media Commission and its recommendations aimed at sustaining high quality journalism.

However, President David Ryan has expressed concern at the lack of representation of qualified individuals with specific experience in the Irish news publishing sector.

He has called on the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin to add an additional member or members with considerable experience at a local and national level to the board.

Mr Ryan says is also worrying that there is no mention, in the terms of reference, of the role and impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms and their impact on securing the future of a sustainable healthy news media.

“The remit of the Commission must include an examination of 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,” he said.

Local Ireland, whose members include the Limerick Leader, says the terms of reference need to be amended urgently to ensure these important issues are addressed.

“The digital issue is global 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,” said Mr Ryan.

The new Commission will be chaired by Professor Brian MacCraith, a former DCU president. It’s membership includes experts in public service media, independent journalism, and social media.

It will look at Irish public service broadcasters, as well as other broadcasters, print and online media at local, regional and national level.

It is expected to publish a report within nine months.