Roy Greenslade, this afternoon
Roy Greenslade , The Guardian’s media correspondent and former editor of the Daily Mirror, giving the keynote speech at at the launch of the 2015 Annual Report of the Press Council of Ireland and the Office of the Press Ombudsman.
Professor Greenslade’s theme was the future of print in Ireland and abroad.
So the UK is still blessed with a diverse press, but what of Ireland’s media and, just as significantly, what about the future for that media?
New Zealand is a country about to have a single media owner.
Could the same happen here?
Is there enough political will to prevent it?
And even if there was, would the free market triumph?
I think it fair to say that the rise of the internet was just a contributory factor to the fact that
one person has accumulated control of the country’s best-selling daily and Sunday newspapers, Dublin’s evening paper, a tabloid, half share in another tabloid, plus 14
regional papers and two national talk radio stations.
However, the digital revolution’s advance is putting his major rival newspaper owners in peril. As in many other countries where newspapers are going to the wall the market-leading owner could well end up being the last man standing.
Prof Greensalde added:
…That’s a very worrying scenario to imagine, although Ireland may benefit from UK-based
newspapers, at least in the short term. I also note that there have been some enterprising
online start-ups here.
I’ve no desire to rain on their parade, just as I admire news start-ups in the UK and the United States, but they have yet to gain the scale of audiences necessary to influence what we might call “the national conversation” and, in so doing, carry forward the journalistic mission on which democracy depends.
Full text of speech here