Staff and freelance workers at the Irish Sun office in Dublin, above, yesterday after former Communications Minister and Green party leader Eamon Ryan, on Tonight With Vincent Browne, claimed there were only “very small numbers” of Irish people working in the News International office, which includes The Sunday Times.
Also on the panel were former Sunday Tribune editor, Noirin Hegarty, Sunday Independent deputy business editor, formerly of The Sunday Times, Tom Lyons and former business correspondent with the Sunday Independent, Martin Fitzpatrick.
Eamon Ryan: “Vincent, can I tell you where some of the money is going, in Irish media. Half a billion is going out of this country to Rupert Murdoch every year. (Inaudible)…huge profits made in Irish media – some of those, Vodafone, O2, some of those phone companies. They’re making a fortune out of Irish media. Now they’re actually carrying it, they’re not the content provider. But there are areas in Irish media which are hugely profitable and I think we have to look at a public policy basis to say are we happy with that? Do we want to just let Irish journalism run out, run to real trouble? And allow Sky take a fortune out of the country every year?”
Noirin Hegarty: “But Eamon, in fairness, Irish journalists are employed in The Sunday Times. They’re employed in The Sun. They’re employed in Murdoch titles.”
Ryan: “Very small numbers.”
Hegarty: “There are jobs being created here.”
Ryan: “Very small numbers. Very good people, but very small numbers. And very little of that money is invested back in this country.”
Hegarty: “But you were talking about how little opportunities there are (for young journalists to get jobs)..you know?”
Ryan: “Sky drains money out of this country and with the exception of some very good journalists in The Sunday Times and elsewhere, they don’t put the same resources back in. And we should be pushing them towards that.”
Hegarty: “But the reality of the new media feature is your competition is from everywhere, it’s from Facebook, it’s from Google, it’s from all of the other, it’s from Microsoft, it’s from everybody, where the advertising revenue is going.”
Vincent Browne: “Tom.”
Tom Lyons: “Sky is employing…it’s hiring 800 people in the middle of a downturn. It’s said it’s going to invest a billion here. You know, yes, there are profits being taken out but I can certainly say that, you know, The Sunday Times. They’re not making huge supernormal profits here. They’re making a good product here. And but I wouldn’t say it’s that much far ahead of break even.”
Watch here @23.15
(Pic: Jennifer O’Brien)