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Potential of indigenous media needs to be realised

30 June, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education, Transport, Regional Development, Gaeilge agus an Gaeltacht Senator Pearse Doherty today took part in a joint initiative with Fine Gael, Labour and senior journalists calling for the establishment of an Advisory Group to debate and make recommendations to government on the future of print and broadcast media in Ireland.

The Donegal senator said:

“The recent closure of Foinse brings sharply into context the need for robust government policies, legislation and commitment to supporting and developing indigenous media. Sinn Féin has regularly raised our concerns on the future of the Irish language media in the Dáil and Seanad. It is unacceptable that Foinse, the last language newspaper, has been let go to the wall without so much as a whimper from the government. And it highlights a broader issue that needs to be acknowledged.

“We need a discussion about what type of print and broadcast media ownership model best serves the people, the industry and Irish business. There is huge scope for indigenous media but in the absence of adequate government policy and legislation such potential is under threat of being realised by outside conglomerates and not local business.

“Government agency Enterprise Ireland is responsible for the development and promotion of the indigenous business sector yet it does not extend this support to local media. It’s counterpart in the north Invest NI takes a very different approach and has invested its supports in local media projects.  

“Sinn Féin fully supports the call for the establishment of an Advisory Group to debate and make recommendations to government on the future faced by the print and broadcast media in Ireland. Government inertia on this issue cannot continue, too much is at stake.” ENDS

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