We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland
public interest

The government doesn't want one person owning the Irish media

‘Break it up, lads…’

MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS Alex White today published a document designed to make it harder for one person to own too much of the Irish media.

In draft guidelines on media mergers, the Minister warns of the dangers of our print, broadcast and online sectors being dominated by too few owners, calling it “undesirable.”

It runs counter to the public interest that the organs of free expression should be overly influenced and potentially controlled by any one individual, group or organisation.
As such it is undesirable to allow any one media business or individual to hold excessive significant interests within a sector or particularly across different sectors of media businesses.

Budget 2013. Communications Minister Alex White Barry Cronin / Photocall Ireland Barry Cronin / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The department’s most significant proposal is to subject any would-be merger or takeover in the media to a “public interest” test before being given the go-ahead.

White is inviting public consultation on how to manage media ownership.

Today’s guidelines come amid concerns over the interests of Denis O’Brien, who owns six radio stations as well as 30% of Independent News and Media – the group which operates the Irish Independent, among other titles.

Earlier this year, Independent TD Clare Daly told the Dáil that there are “very wealthy people…trying to block what goes into the media.”

She was joined by fellow Independent deputy Mick Wallace, who said:

People are afraid of the money and power of Denis O’Brien, he’s worth billions…His influence to shape the news is too great.

Wallace added that a “stronger streak of independence and objectivity” was needed in Irish media.

Read: Those with ‘deep pockets’ control the media – Clare Daly>

Broadcasting Authority ‘not obliged’ to review Denis O’Brien’s media holdings>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.