Ireland Government and Media
Government Type: Parliamentary Representative Democracy. Executive power is exercised by the Government, which is led by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister)
Leader: Prime Minister Micheál Martin
Head of the State: President Michael D. Higgins.
Political Party: Fianna Fail
Political Position: Center-Right
World Press Freedom Rank: Ireland 13/180
In 2020 Reporters Without Borders ranked Ireland 13/180 in their Press Freedom Index stating that “Independent News and Media (INM) controlled much of the daily and Sunday newspaper market, while broadcasting was dominated by the semi-state company RTE.”
The Irish media landscape is predominantly controlled by the State broadcaster RTÉ, Ireland’s largest television and radio organization. RTÉ is funded by Licence Fees similar to the BBC, however, unlike The BBC, RTE is partly funded by “commercial revenue i.e. advertising.” Besides RTE Radio One, RTÉ One, RTÉ2, The state also owns Irish-language TG4. For more on services see here.
Another entity that has a dominant position within the Irish print media sector is the country’s largest newspaper publisher Independent News and Media (INM), which was previously owned by various Media Barons such as Tony O’Reilly and Denis O’Brien. INM currently is owned by Belgian group Mediahuis.
Government Influence on Media: Public broadcasting involves Radio-Television of Ireland which is partially owned by the state and licensed by the Minister of the Department for Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources. Its Board Members are appointed by the Government of Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is responsible for regulating both public and commercial broadcasting.
The press is privately owned in Ireland with the government having minimal direct control over the media outlets since most of them are privately owned and financed through advertising and subscription fees. The primary concern is the media ownership concentration and the Government monopoly of public broadcasting. Large corporations own most media such as Mediahuis through Independent News and Media (INM), Murdoch group, and Liberty Global causing a lack of diversity in ownership that creates strong Pro-Corporate Bias.