Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.38 27 Dec 2020


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The Taoiseach Micheál Martin is giving his backing to the introduction of a new broadcasting charge.

The levy, which would replace the €160 television licence, aims to fund public service broadcasting and independent journalism.

It would have to be paid by all households even if they do not own a TV.

This means it would apply to those who watch TV on non-traditional devices - such as laptops and tablets.

It has been estimated that 10% of homes access content on alternative devices which do not require a television licence.

It is currently being examined by a Commission on the Future of Media, which is expected to report back by the summer of 2021.

Mr Martin says he has always believed in bringing in the broadcasting charge.

"It's not just public service broadcasting, it's media in general".

He said it is his view that the method of giving funding would have to be ring-fenced.

"I think modern media's under threat from a whole range of forces, and I think the greater independence we can create around journalism and media the better.

"And I think public service broadcasting has a key role to play in any nation's democracy".

He also said he would support ring-fenced funding for investigative journalism.

He added that journalists need to be 'remunerated' better.

"If you're a young person in college and you're aspiring to be a journalist, you've got to have a clear, meaningful career pathway for journalists," he explained.

He said such funding "has never been more important, given the proliferation of all sorts of sources of news and fake news and so on social media platforms".

"That's one mechanism that I support, others may have different options, so we'll await the outcome of the Commission's report".

Main image by Maria_Domnina from Pixabay 

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Broadcasting Charge Commission On The Future Of Media Media Micheál Martin Public Service Broadcasting Ring-fenced Funding Taoiseach Tv Licence

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