newsThere has been general a positive response to the new Fianna Fáil proposals on newspapers and the media in general.
The plan was recently announced by the party’s front bench Communications spokesperson, Timmy Dooley. It is, he says, a new policy designed to sustain high quality journalism in Irish public life.
Mr Dooley said the decline in newspaper sales in recent years, allied to the migration of advertising to online platforms, had put pressure on newspaper publishers who were no longer able to allocate adequate resources to provide enough high quality journalism.
The emergence of ‘fake news’ was, he said, acting as a destabiliser in Western democracies and he believed it was now time for our State to intervene.
Pointing out that several countries such as France and Sweden had already introduced public subsidies for newspaper journalism, Mr Dooley is proposing, among other things, a minister for the media, a new €30 million fund for print journalism and a review of defamation laws. Any funding decisions, he insisted, would be independent of government and the political system.
It all sounds good but Fianna Fáil is not in government at present. Perhaps they can persuade Fine Gael to take in on board as part of the agreement between the two parties. We shall see what we shall see.