Too Big To Fold



This morning.

Via The Irish Times:

The Irish Times Group has called for the introduction of State financial supports for journalism, news publishers’ technology investments and the home delivery of newspapers.

In its submission to the Future of Media Commission, the company said public funding should be available for specific public service roles, such as court reporters, as well as training schemes and internships for early-career journalists. It cited the Child Care Law Reporting Project, which is funded by the Department of Justice, as an example “worthy of exploration”.

The State can help Irish news media survive the existential threats facing the sector in a manner that protects editorial autonomy and does not trespass on the independence of a free press, it suggested.

…Despite progress across news titles on digital subscription revenues and voluntary donation models, there is “no escaping the reality” of the impact of the shift to digital on news publishing, it added.


The Irish Times Group calls for State financial support for journalism (Irish Times)

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51 thoughts on “Too Big To Fold

  1. millie bobby brownie

    Yeah, yeah that’s exactly what we need! Another bunch of lazy partisan journos having their wages paid by the taxpayer is *exactly* what’s required.

    Can we even call the lads in rte journalists anyway?

    1. Nigel

      Corporations and shareholders who are monopolising media have absolutely no interest in proper journalism, have cut reporting and journalism to the bone such that most news consists of slightly edited PR releases – always remember the state of modern journalism is the result of private companies strip-mining assets and cost-cutting to maximise profts. The state providing financial support for independant journalism is one alternative, which is why so many people will oppose it. They don’t really want independant reporting, they want opinion-mongers to relentlessly attack their political opponents.

      1. ian-oh

        In an ideal world, absolutely, but you just know that any attempt to really hold government to account would result in some sort of sanction against the ‘offender’.

        There is a real problem with independent journalism but when outlets like the Examiner give pride of place to the likes of Terry Prone or Fergus Finlay, you know exactly what side their bread is buttered on.

        1. Nigel

          I don’t think it needs an ideal world to have good reporting and journalism and I certainly think state funding can be designed to be fairly free from state interference, but if the comments here are anything to go by it’s already a non-starter because dissatisfaction with the current underfunded state of journalism means they’d rather see Irish journalism burned to the waterline than rebuilt and supported, therefore the government can safely let what jounralism we have decline even further and know they won’t lose suppport over it. After that, I can’t wait to see governments being held to account.

    2. ian-oh

      No, I’d call them government approved press release disseminators.

      Paul Reynolds should have been given his own Garda uniform a long time ago.

      I also note in the list of ‘excellence’ (*snigger*) they leave out all that wonderful property p0rn they dis-semen-ate.

      AKA a bunch of onanists.

    3. goldenbrown


      I have only one thing to say about the silly poopkins liberal westbrit Prone-licker rag:

      Kate Fitzgerald

      1. S

        Moderator – can this person be banned or their post removed? Surely, calling a newspaper ‘silly poopkins’ is not mature, and against the the broadsheet’s rules of comments.

          1. ian-oh


            For the record I was unaware of Prone’s religion.

            Now I know, it has absolutely zero influence on my view of her which is based on her actions, not her faith or anything else.

          2. goldenbrown

            here Bodger
            out of interest
            re ze “paper of record” why am I not permitted to state the obvious? I don’t think the term is particularly rude
            and more to the point it’s true
            (not that you’d need it but that particular publications roots and ethos are clear for everyone to see read and learn about on wikipedia for example) it is what it is.

            what’s the problemo?

        1. Haroo

          If this place becomes mature or starts moderating anything except the most serious breaches or takes issue funny comments I will leave. And you will all miss me and my comments every 2 months or so.

          I once went on about Fair City being a terrorist training ground ffs.

          Surely you are “mature” enough to take the underlying point of a comment rather than bicker over its style…. Surely “mature” people care more about substance.

        2. goldenbrown

          to wit

          “Though formed as a Protestant nationalist paper, within two decades and under new owners it had become the voice of British unionism in Ireland.[5] It is no longer marketed as a unionist paper; it presents itself politically as “liberal and progressive”,[6] as well as promoting neoliberalism on economic issues.[7] The editorship of the newspaper from 1859 until 1986 was controlled by the Anglo-Irish Protestant minority, only gaining its first nominal Irish Catholic editor 127 years into its existence.”

    4. rominick

      Yes, state subsided journalism, can’t see an issue with this.
      They’re hardly going to bite the hand that feeds them.
      Also look at the previous ‘journalists’ who now have government jobs.
      Malcolm Tucker would envy this setup.

  2. Norma

    A bit like lift operators asking for government handouts after the introduction of automatic lifts. The news industry has changed hugely and will keep changing – far better the IT focus on innovation rather than a fairly shameless attempt for taxpayers money.

  3. Conski

    NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards
    ‘Sports Journalist of the Year’

    If you’re gonna whinge for free money for your journalism lark, have the decency to get the sub-editing/styling write.

  4. axelf

    youve sold me IT, i do imagine a place where fintan otoole, conor lally, and all of the rest of the group think echo chamber that is the times is without a platform.

    no funding for you

  5. Chevy Chase

    Well I’d rather pay for that than my tax money (as well as my license) going on nonsense like the Angelus or broadcasting Mass.

  6. Happy

    There is definitely a strong argument for courts and political reporting. And they key word there is reporting, which is a lot different to opinion pieces that papers are mostly made up of today.

  7. V aka Frilly Keane

    Very simple
    Produce a better Product
    More efficiently and cost effectively (ie that means better management at back office functions)
    Make your product good value for money for the reader yourselves, that’s not the tax payers job

    Improve your content lads
    that is not the tax payers job either

    And you can’t expect the tax payer to fill up the holes in yere liquidity from those mad splurges into and the likes

    1. Nigel

      Less of that costly and wasteful reporting and journalism, more ‘content.’ Scraping twitter for celebrity gossip and shoddily-created non-stories about sea-shanties and giant vampire women, that’s where the real value for money is at.

      1. Micko

        Journalism is screwed. And sure how could it compete.

        Journalists are overworked, underpaid and made double job all the time.

        They used to be given time to work and develop stories, now it’s all about getting peoples attention for advertising revenue.

        I’ve literally seen press releases copied and pasted – they just don’t have the time.

        The public caused this mess when we decided we didn’t want to pay for news anymore and maybe this public funding thing isn’t a bad idea. It would give journos time to actually develop their stories better.

        But there would have to be some serious laws in place to ensure the government couldn’t just threaten journalists and news outlets with having their funding removed.

        1. V aka Frilly Keane

          What more financial supports do they need
          The State already provides hundreds of thousands of Advertising Revenue

          Plus content, plus content providers, plus a pipeline of career opportunities for those employed within it

          The Press Council of Ireland, which funnily enough also includes the Office of the Ombudsman already exists – although their mandate etc doesn’t really promise much
          the nature of their funding is by way of a levy on each of their member publications and organisations
          ( their last set of accounts that are available on their website are YE 2017
          and to save ye the time the Directors collected 55k between them in 2017)

          The Press Council of Ireland and Office of the Press Ombudsman – on their home page says
          “We are independent of government and the press.”
          We also promote press freedom and the right to freedom of expression..”

          The very notion that tis the Irish Times themselves are doing a solo run and begging for Government Handouts suggests the Press Council of Ireland doesn’t really offer much by way of an Independent Industry body , which doesn’t say much for the Press Ombudsman office either, who is actually funded from its own subscribing members
          Maybe take that function out and fund it separately by way of some form of Statute
          Mind you it could well turn into another Broadcasting Authority

          One thing for absolutely sure, The Irish Times have now publicly invited State (fee) Influence into their house
          how’s that for a epitaph to Irish Journalism and News Reporting

          and here was one of the final Frilly Keane’s btw

          Irish mainstream media took the soup a long time ago, in my memory as far back as the 80s. Most likely from these events

          now they want more and more, and give us less and less for the price
          they won’t have a readership anymore, they will have supporters, members, like minded followers, connected parties and most dangerously of all, benefactors.

          And do you know what, it’s not just the mainstream either

          1. Micko

            I think one of the main issues, as Bodger has pointed out in his title is that they are just too big.

            And yeah you’re right any independent body we put in place could easily turn into a disaster.

            There’s also the argument that we were better off with corrupt media that were in bed with politicians like in the 50’s as it led to a more cohesive society.

            And that investigative journalism actually led to us being untrusting of our leaders, which in turn led to our more fractured lives.

          2. Otis Blue

            It’s worth mentioning that the IT is currently availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) to sustain its current employment.

          1. millie bobby brownie

            Yeah that’s a good point, in fairness.

            It’s a pity, because you’re left with the kind of publication like the IT or the Indo, both of which clearly follow a certain agenda while not actually producing much in the way of genuine journalism – too many vested interests, or you have RTÉ, which is funded by the state, and enough has already been said about that.

          2. Nigel

            A newspaper having a poltical slant is fine, so long as there’s more than one or two newspapers around, but when you take away the reporting and the journalism, you’re just left with the slant.

          3. V aka Frilly Keane

            That can be very selective too Micko
            and they do tend to run with what Dublin is afraid to be seen with

            But one area the Examiner have serious depth in
            and even RTE would struggle to compete
            is their Sport Dept / Section

          4. Micko

            I think the general gist is that the IT tows the line and the Examiner does the more risqué stories.

            Particularly lately, Golfgate and the ROQU 14.1 million shambles were all examiner stories I think.

            But yeah, anything they can do to show Dublín off in a bad light is fair game to them.

  8. GiggidyGoo

    Irish Times, Bethany Home.
    They steered away from reporting, properly, on that for quite some time.
    I wonder why?

  9. Fergalito

    As someone who used to have a subscription to the IT the content is weak or syndicated stuff that I’ve read for free elsewhere. It’s a poor auld show, if it can’t sustain itself as other posters have said on the basis of what it is currently producing then rather than looking for a subsidy it might be better to take an auld gaze at the navel and pull the finger out. Surely if they can’t make enough from all of the advertising revenue and so called partnerships with other paying customers that feature in their *subscriber rewards” email shot then it’s “you” IT and not “them.”

    The talking heads are just that – unqualified punters whose opinions I am supposed to have a regard for as my intellectual “better?” Some of the content is okay at times but not €12 per month okay.

    There is an issue with the quality of journalism these days – where are the stories that are sought out, deep-dive stuff on the back of a journalist’s initiative or instinct as opposed to some rolling feed from Reuters or whoever that plops in your lap? If you’re not stirring up the poop some of the time then it’s not really a great sign. The ‘bloids thrive because they aggressively push a particular populist agenda, focus on the world of celebrity trash that readers cannot seem to get enough of and festoon their sites with all kinds of vexatious banner and scrolling ads etc. No thanks.

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