The quality of our media matters. Democracy doesn’t function properly without a well functioning public media that is universally accessible for all and that is trustworthy, credible and independent.
The media, especially public service media, forms a ‘social glue’ that helps shape our understanding of the world around us. Without doubt the digital revolution has changed the rules of the game and unregulated social media corporations now have unprecedented influence over our daily lives.
The rise in disinformation is dramatically distorting how we access, interpret and understand important events and information. The Covid19 pandemic has driven home the importance of trusted and accessible sources of information that we need to be safe and understand what is happening in the world around us.
Public service media should play a vital role in reflecting the diversity of our society and our communities and not shy away from difficult and challenging issues, while upholding the highest standards in relation to human rights and equality.
A crucial function of public service media is holding decision makers accountable. To do this effectively independence is key. When there is too much control over appointments, funding allocations and when the social ecosystems of journalists and decision makers overlap too much, independence and perspective is diluted.
Finally quality public service media requires resourcing. The steady erosion of public funding is detrimental to quality journalism and standards and pushes towards greater commercialisation and dumbing down of news and information. This is a significant choice and challenge for us all. The role of public taxation is core to this challenge and as can be seen in this submission needs to be underpinned by the principles of equality, universality, transparency.
About this Submission
872 Uplift members contributed to the formation of this report by completing a digital survey sent during the week of 4th January 2021. Members were invited to share their views in the context of the public consultation on the ‘Future of Media in Ireland’.