TDs and Senators have been told it's not just RTÉ that needs urgent funding.
Today, politicians of all parties have been warned of the dangers of complacency regarding the future of news on independent radio.
The IBI (Independent Broadcasters of Ireland), which represents Ireland's 34 independent radio stations, addressed TD's and Senators this afternoon.
The IBI says "In the wake of years of financial pressure, reform of the funding model for public service broadcasting needs to be more than just about RTÉ and it needs to happen
The briefing in Leinster House was told that IBI believes that full implementation of the future of Media Commission recommendations (FOMC), which could help radio stations, could be as much as 2 – 2 ½ years away, and regardless of the timing of the introduction of the schemes, the sector has serious concerns that they will not be suitable to sustain the vital public services stations provide all over the country.
'Couldn't be coming at a worse time'
IBI says the delays in the schemes couldn’t be coming at a worse time for news and current affairs on independent radio.
John Purcell, Chair of the IBI, says local and regional news plays a vital role in informing the public:
The Covid pandemic showed how our stations play a vital role in providing information that is accurate and reliable and how this contributes positively to communities and Irish society
in times of difficulty.
IBI says that politicians and the Government need to broaden the scope of their concern about the future of the media away from purely being about RTÉ and the €56 million interim bail-out approved for the Semi-State broadcaster, but also agree on a package of measures for independent radio without delay.
“Unfortunately, we cannot afford to wait until a range of experimental pilot schemes have made their way through the slow and laborious EU Commission approval process,” continued Mr Purcell.
Each day, 3.1 million people in Ireland listen to independent radio.
Roughly 70% of time spent listening to radio in Ireland is to local, regional, and national independent stations other than RTE.
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