Tindle radio station Midlands 103 has joined the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) in calling for stronger supports for local journalism.
Managing Director Will Faulkner met recently with members of Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament, to outline opportunities to bolster the industry through the new Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill.
The legislation provides for the establishment of a new Media Commission to replace the outgoing Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, which has been funded by a levy on stations.
Following a recent VAT concession to newspaper publishers, IBI is urging the Government to provide similar relief to its members in the form of a levy reduction.
“The 2022 Digital News Report shows Irish people place more faith in independent local radio than any other news brand, with only 10% saying they don’t trust it. These journalists are incredibly committed to their communities and there is a democratic interest in resourcing their work”, Mr Faulkner explained.
“We were heartened by the cross-party support received and are hopeful that in addition to a levy reduction, the proposed Journalism Bursary will be extended to reporters working in the local radio sector”, he added.
Broadcasting is the only media in Ireland with a statutory regulator.
Once enacted, the new OSMR Bill will hold online giants such as Facebook and Twitter to the same stringent standards.
It is expected to be signed into law by the Irish President in early 2023.