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Sinn Féin introduces Bill to prohibit the blacklisting of journalists

12 December, 2019 - by Seán Crowe TD, David Cullinane TD


David Cullinane TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, and Seán Crowe TD, the party’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, have today introduced a Bill in the Dáil that will make it illegal for media organisations to blacklist journalists.

Teachta Cullinane said:

"We have heard many fine speeches in the Dáil recently about the need to tackle the banning of certain journalists from the airwaves by Communicorp but very little has been done by way of action or the introduction of government legislation.

"It is time to tackle this head on and I have moved a Bill in the Dáil today, along with my colleague Seán Crowe, that will address this issue by amending the Broadcasting Act 2009 to make it a breach of contract under the Act to prohibit a member of the NUJ from communications media for reason - or reasons - of occupation, employer, company or employment status.

"Most people are outraged by the fact that journalists are stopped from appearing on certain radio stations because of who their employer is and it is vital that is practice is outlawed.

"I am calling on all parties and independents to support this Bill when it comes back to the Dáil for second stage and to make sure that happens as quickly as possible.

"This practice needs to be made illegal as a matter of urgency."

Teachta Crowe added:

"We are seeing increased attacks on the rights and freedoms of journalists worldwide.

"In the past five years, the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalism have reported 256 serious violations of press freedom in EU Member States; including the murder of fourteen journalists.

"Ireland needs to be a global leader when it comes to protecting media freedoms and it can start with this Bill, which is a positive and proactive piece of legislation, and I am calling on all TD’s to support this when it comes back to the Dáil in the New Year."

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