Indicators of Risks to Media Pluralism

Twelve indicators aim to assess the health of the media sector in Ireland by assessing three dimensions or risk: economic, legal and political. How concentrated is the media market both horizontally (in each sector) and vertically (across sectors)? What are the greatest risks to pluralism? Do the media in Ireland provide space for public debate that includes all voices, all viewpoints including those that are critical of people in power?
The indicators are comparable across all countries with a Media Ownership Monitor.

Curious? > Read more on the other MOM country pages.

Media Audience Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator aims to assess the concentration of audience and readership across media platforms based on audience share. Concentration is measured by using the nationwide biggest 4 owners in the market.

Why?

Television Market: 63%
The top four television groups in Ireland account for 63% of the audience. This figure is based on the 24-hour audience share of the top 50 channels available in Ireland in 2023. RTE's cumulative audience share is 26.25%, Virgin Media's is 19.81%, the BBC's is 8.55% and Sky is 8.06%. The figures are from AGB Nielsen Media Research (available at www.medialive.ie).

Radio Market: 69%
The top four radio  groups in Ireland accounted for 69% of the audience in 2022. Calculating this share is complicated by the fact that these groups may include stations addressing national, regional and local markets. Nonetheless, controlling for this we find that the combined 2022 audience shares of RTE (27.8%), Bauer Media Ireland (24.8%), the Wireless Group (12.2%) and the Radio Kerry Group (4.5%.) reach 69%.

Print Market: 91%
The top four print  groups in Ireland accounted for 91% of the national print audience in 2022. The four national papers owned by Mediahuis account for 38% of the national audience, the two Irish Times papers account for 26%, REACH PLC’s three titles account for 15% and News Corporation’s three for 12%. These figures should be treated with considerable caution given that they are based on readership figures from TGI which exclusively refer to print readership (i.e. they do not include digital readership). Figures presented in March 2023 by Newsbrands, the newspaper representative organisation based on research from Kantar TGI suggest that while 2.74m Irish people read a print title every week, 2.67m people also read a digital version of a print title. Clearly these readerships are not mutually exclusive and there is considerable overlap. Nonetheless it means that excluding digital readership may skew the audience shares of the different groups.

Online Market: 53%
According to the 2023 Reuters Digital News Report, the top four online news brands in Ireland are RTE News Online, TheJournal.ie, independent.ie and irishtimes.com (tied with BreakingNews.ie, which belongs to the same owner). However the manner in which the DNR reports frequency of use does not facilitate a calculation of audience share. For example, RTE News Online is cited by more respondents (24% in 2023) to the DNR as an online news brand they have visited on at least 3 days in the past week than any other. However this does not equate to a 24% audience share. 

Despite this we have considered calculating audience share on a very rough basis using the Reuters figures. If we take the 16 most used online news outlets listed in the Reuters research and sum the percentages of those subscribing to those 16 services, we arrive at 133%. We could recalculate the RTE News Online share as 18% (that is 24% of 133%). By the same reasoning, the cumulative shares of RTE (18%), The Journal (12%), Independent (11%), the Irish Times and Breakingnews.ie both on 8%. As the Irish Times and Breakingnews.ie belong to the same owner, we can either include both of them in the top4, making their share 57% or we can omit one of them from the calculation, leaving us with 53% (65 out of 122). For the calculation of the score, we use the lower share. 

However, we remain very unsure about the validity of this figure, as we have no way of knowing how many news outlets read by Irish consumers there are beyond the top 16. (It could literally be any number above 133.) Furthermore the Reuters research says nothing about the intensity of use of individual online outlets: it simply offers a binary statement that a given outlet was or was not accessed. Thus a user could spend 4 hours per week on RTE Online and 10 minutes on The Journal but the Reuters research accords both levels of engagement the same significance. In the absence of knowing anything about how users actually engage with specific sites, it is difficult to know how we might arrive at a figure which actually reflects audiences.

LOW MEDIUM HIGH 
Audience concentration in Television (horizontal) 

Percentage: 63% 

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Radio (horizontal) 

Percentage: 69%

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Readership concentration in newspapers (horizontal) 

Percentage: 91%

If within one country the major 4 Owners have a readership share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Internet (horizontal) 

Percentage: 53%

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 

Digital News Report Ireland 2023, Reuters Institute

Media Market Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator aims to assess the horizontal ownership concentration based on market share which illustrates the economic power of companies/ groups. Concentration is measured for each media sector by adding the market shares of the major owners in the sector. 

Why?

Score: 3

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Media market concentration in television (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the TV media sector. 
Percentage: 83%
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in radio (horizontal) : This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the Radio media sector.    
Percentage: 88%  
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in newspapers (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the print  sector.
Percentage: 91% 
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in Internet Content Providers 
Percentage: No Data / Not Assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%.  

 

 

Revenues at SKY Irish operations increase to €610.36m for 2022, RTÉ (2023), Accessed on 10 February 2024.
Virgin Media Television reports further loss of €6.1m in 2022, Irish Examiner (2023), Accessed on 10 February 2024.
Liberty Global : Virgin Media Ireland Reports Preliminary Q4 2022 Results, Market Screener (2023), Accessed on 10 February 2024.
Total Broadcaster Ad revenue up in first half of 2022, TAM Ireland, Accessed on 10 February 2024.
A record year for Broadcaster TV Advertising, TAM Ireland, Accessed on 10 February 2024.
Over €247m spent on TV advertising, Marketing.ie, Accessed on 10 February 2024.
2019 TV Advertising Revenue the highest in 9 years, TAM Ireland, Accessed on 10 February 2024.
TV Advertising Revenue exceeds €230m in 2020, TAM Ireland, Accessed on 10 February 2024.

Regulatory Safeguards: Media Ownership Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator assesses the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration ownership and/or control in the different media. 

Why?

Concentration of media ownership in Ireland is regulated and the importance of media pluralism and diversity is acknowledged in the relevant legislation. However, this is not reflected in the establishment of statutory limits on media concentration in any media sector. Even in print the limits are imposed by the regulator rather than the state.


TV
The relevant legislation is Part 3A of the Competition Act, 2002 (as inserted by Part 4 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2014). Part 3A deals specifically with media mergers. It does not specify any particular quantitative thresholds which would automatically prevent an increase in concentration of media ownership in any media sector including television. Instead, section 28A(1) of the 2002 Act (as inserted by section 74 of the 2014 Act) includes among the "relevant criteria" to be considered by the Minister for Communications, in assessing a media merger pursuant to section 28G(2)(a), the "undesirability of allowing any one undertaking to hold significant interests within a sector or across different sectors of media business in the State". What constitutes a "significant interest" in this regard is not defined in reference to any universal or objective criteria. (Elsewhere guidelines published in 2015 relating to the interpretation of the 2014 Competition and Consumer Protection Act suggest that WITHIN a given media outlet, a 20% shareholding or higher will be regarded as constituting a "substantial interest" and would attract particular scrutiny in the case where the media outlet was involved in a media merger. However, it is neither implied nor overtly stated that a shareholding in excess of 20% of a given media sector or across a range of sectors would be regarded as definitively unacceptable.)

That said, ALL media mergers in Ireland require the approval of the Minister for Communications, who has the authority to constrain media ownership within limits determined on a case-by-case basis. In this regard the Minister can independently decide to permit a merger to proceed or to proceed subject to specified conditions. In the event that the Minister feels that the merger "may be contrary to the public interest in protecting plurality of the media in the State" (see section 28D(1)(c) of the 2001 Act as inserted by section 74 of the 2014 Act), s/he is required to refer the merger to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for a full-scale investigation. Thus both the Minister and the Coimisun na Mean  potentially play roles in imposing limits on media ownership.

Coimisun na Mean may "sanction" attempts to surpass radio station ownership thresholds simply by refusing to licence a new owner with existing holdings at or near 25% of the radio market to operate a newly acquired radio station. If a media merger involving non-radio news media is referred to Coimisun na Mean by the Minister for Communications, Coimisun na Mean may refuse to sanction the merger, "remedying" the threat of concentration by preventing it from occurring in the first place. Failure to notify the Minister for Communications of a merger is punishable by fine of up to €250,000 (see section 28B(8)(b) of the 2002 Act, as inserted by section 74 of the 2014 Competition and Consumer Protection Act). Similarly, section 28L of the 2002 Competition Act permits the Minister to seek a High Court injunction enforcing "compliance with the terms of a determination" (i.e. a decision relating to a given media merger). Failure to respect such an injunction may result in either a financial penalty or the imposition of a prison sentence.


Radio
With regard to radio, there is an overt ownership threshold within the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's 2019 Ownership and Control Policy which states that "a number equivalent to over 25% of the total number of commercial sound broadcasting services [radio stations]  licensed under the 2009 Act would be unacceptable; regardless of whether an entity has control of, or substantial interests in, the relevant services." Thus the number of radio stations which may be held by a single entity is capped at a quarter of the total number of national, regional and local stations operating within the Republic of Ireland.

Print
The situation for print is as per television: The Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2014 does not specify any particular quantitative thresholds which would automatically prevent an increase in concentration of media ownership.

Online
Section 28A(1)(d) of the 2002 Act (as inserted by section 74 of the 2014 Act) does include online media (and "digital news media") amongst the media businesses it considers to be covered by the Competition and Consumer Protection Act ("the business ... of ... making available on an electronic communications network any written, audio-visual or photographic material, consisting substantially of news and comment on current affairs, that is under the editorial control of the undertaking making available such material"). However, as with television and print, digital news media are not subject to specified ownership thresholds.

Regulatory Safeguard Score: 7.5 out of 20 = High Risk (37,5%).

1 = media-specific regulation/ authority
0.5 = competition-related regulation/ authority

 

Television, Radio, print and OnlineDescriptionYesNoNAMD
4.1Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds or limits, based on objective criteria (e.g. number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue) to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector?This question aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control.1
4.2Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with the thresholds in the audiovisual sector and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.1
4.3Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as:

  • Refusal of additional licences;
  • Blocking of a merger or acquisition; 
  • Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming; 
  • Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;
  • Divestiture.
1
4.4Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.1
Total 4 out of 16
MEDIA MERGERSDescriptionYesNoNAMD
4.17Can a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?

This question aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector specific and/ or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector through merging operations. For instance, the law should prevent concentration in merging operations: 

- By containing media-specific provisions that impose stricter thresholds than in other sectors;

- The mandatory intervention of a media authority in merger and acquisition cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority);

- The possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the communication authority for reasons of media pluralism (or public interest in general)); -that - even though they do not contain media-specific provisions - do not exclude the media sector from their scope of application.

1
4.18Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with rules on mergers and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system.1
4.19Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioral and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as: 

  • Blocking of a merger or acquisition; 
  • Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming; 
  • Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;
  • Divestiture.
0.5
4.20Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.1
Total3.5 out of 4

 

Although the 2014 Competition and Consumer Protection Act does not specify quantitative thresholds on the concentration of media ownership, this is not to suggest that it is entirely silent on the subject of media concentration. The legislation requires the Minister for Communications to bear in mind “relevant criteria” when deciding whether to permit a media merger to proceed or not. These criteria include “the likely effect of the media merger on plurality of the media in the State” and “the undesirability of allowing any one undertaking to hold significant interests within a sector or across different sectors of media business in the State”. 

In its previous incarnation as the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Coimisiun na Mean, expressed the view that quantitative thresholds were generally not appropriate for the Irish market on the grounds that it was not obvious what metrics might be devised that could take account of the particular circumstances of specific media mergers. 

The 2014 Competition and Consumer Protection Act was introduced in a very specific context, following political concern around the fact that a single individual - a high profile Irish businessman - had built up the largest single shareholding in the country’s largest print media group and owned outright the largest commercial radio group. It was argued that the previous legislation (the 2002 Competition Act) had forced regulators to adopt an approach to media mergers which focused on the impact of such mergers on the advertising market rather than on pluralism and diversity. The 2014 Act was intended to address this by relocating primary responsibility for approving media mergers to the Minister for Communications rather than the Competition Authority (as was). 

Notably, since 2014, there have few (if any)  instances where the relevant authorities have blocked a media sale or merger. For the most part Irish Ministers for Communication have opted not to refer most of the major media acquisitions of recent years to the BAI/Coimisiun na Mean. for extensive scrutiny. Thus Liberty Global’s 2015 acquisition of the TV3 Group, ITV’s acquisition of UTV Ireland in the same year (and the subsequent 2016 acquisition of the same channel by Liberty Global), Eir’s 2015 acquisition of Setanta Sports and News UK’s 2016 acquisition of UTV’s former Irish radio stations (The Wireless Group) were approved only by the relevant Minister for Communication and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission with the latter concentrating on the impact of those acquisitions on competition in the advertising market rather than on pluralism. The press sector was the only one which witnessed a full-scale media merger investigation in this period. This related to Independent News and Media's (now Mediahuis Ireland) proposed 2016/17 takeover of the Celtic Media Group, a regional newspaper group. In the event INM decided not to proceed with the merger even though it emerged that the BAI and the Minister for Communications were prepared to permit it subject to conditions. Subsequently, in December 2017, the Irish Times notified the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) of its intention to acquire Sappho Limited, the holding company for the Irish Examiner newspaper and several local radio stations. In March 2018 the CCPC moved to a Phase 2 (or "full") investigation before clearing the merger in April the same year on the grounds that it would not "substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services in the State". The merger was not, however, referred to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for an assessment of its impact on media pluralism. 

On the face of it some of these mergers have definitively increased the degree of media concentration both within and across media. For example News UK’s acquisition of the second largest private radio group in the Republic of Ireland (consisting of six local stations) was passed by the Minister for Communications without condition. Thus added a radio arm to a larger global corporate entity which monopolised the Irish satellite television distribution market through Sky Television, was at the time the second largest player in the daily/weekly national newspaper market and the fourth largest (in terms of aggregate audience share) in the broadcast television market (again through Sky). As News UK had no previous radio interests in the Republic of Ireland, it did not lead to further concentration in the radio market but that market was already characterised by concentration at the higher end scale. (It should be added that in 2018 Comcast secured effective control and ownership of Sky Television significantly reducing the level of concentration in this regard.) 

Against this, the BAI Report on Ownership and Control of Media Businesses in Ireland 2015-2017 based on research commissioned from London consultancy Communications Chambers concluded that the changes in Irish media ownership did not material affect media pluralism in Ireland: “The Research concludes that the completed mergers did not have a material impact on plurality in the State and the BAI supports this conclusion. The BAI notes that the overall position in terms of the “share of voice” for the most influential media groups in the State has not been significantly altered by the above changes or other changes in the media landscape in the period under review.” 

On that basis, it might be argued that the consistent approval of media mergers is not necessarily counter to the goals of media pluralism and diversity, The most recent significant test of the efficacy of ownership regulations was posed by Bauer Media Audio's acquisition of the Communicorp Group, which owned 5 radio stations and 3 digital platforms in Ireland. Announced in February 2021 the deal was approved by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in March 2021. Though Bauer was already operative in the Irish magazine retail market, the CCPC gave the go-ahead on the grounds that "none of the undertakings involved in the merger or acquisition are active or potentially active in the same product and geographic markets, or in any market(s) which is upstream or downstream to a market(s) in which another undertaking is active."

Cross-media Ownership Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership across the different sectors – TV, print, audio, and any other relevant media – of the media industry. Cross-media concentration is measured by adding up the market shares of the Top 8 media companies. The results are not an indicator for economic strength in different media sectors but rather for the potential influence on public opinion when considering all media types.

Why?
Exact percentage is not known, but based on estimates of market size and turnover of the 8 biggest companies, it is highly likely that the share of 8 major owners is above 70% of the market.

LOW (1)MEDIUM (2)HIGH (3)
3Percentage: Missing Data
If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share below 50% across the different media sectors.  If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have an audience share between 50% and 69% across the different media sectors. If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share above 70% across the different media sectors.

 

 

Regulatory Safeguards: Cross-media Ownership Concentration

Result: High Risk

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership between media types (press, TV, radio, internet). Given the diversity of thresholds or limits that exist among different countries with regard to ownership and/or control, 'high' should be assessed according to the standards of your country and in the light of the thresholds or limits imposed by domestic laws.

Result: Part 4 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2014 permits the Minister for Communications to block further concentration of cross-media ownership. However such decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis and there are no consistent statutorily-defined thresholds limiting the extent of media concentration either within or across media sectors in Ireland. 

Why?
Again the relevant legislation is Part 3A of the Competition Act, 2002 (as inserted by Part 4 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2014). Part 3A deals specifically with media mergers. It does not specify any particular quantitative thresholds which would automatically prevent an increase in concentration of ownership within or across media sectors

There is some acknowledgment that cross-media concentration is a risk. Section 28A(1) of the 2002 Act (as inserted by section 74 of the 2014 Act) includes among the "relevant criteria" to be considered by the Minister for Communications in assessing a media merger the "undesirability of allowing any one undertaking to hold significant interests within a sector or across different sectors of media business in the State". 

Nonetheless the absence of any statutory objective criteria specifying threshold for media ownership concentration means that there are no thresholds to be monitored nor can the regulator apply sanctions for breaching non-existent thresholds.

The absence of objective thresholds does imply that concentration of media ownership is unregulated, however. ALL media mergers in Ireland require the approval of the Minister for Communications, who has the authority to constrain media ownership within limits determined on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore the approval of The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is required for any merger, media-related or other, albeit the CCPC’s assessment is based on the expected impact of the merger on competition in the advertising market (rather than pluralism and diversity).

Subject to the CCPC’s agreement, the Minister can decide to permit a merger to proceed or to proceed and may impose specified requirements as a condition for doing so. . In the event that the Minister feels that the merger "may be contrary to the public interest in protecting plurality of the media in the State" (see section 28D(1)(c) of the 2001 Act as inserted by section 74 of the 2014 Act), s/he is required to refer the merger to Coimisiun na Mean for a full-scale investigation. Thus, the CCPC,  the Minister and Coimisiun na Mean potentially play roles in imposing limits on media ownership. Having sought Coimisiun na Mean advice, the Minister is not obliged to adhere to it (although it would certainly attract significant political attention if a Minister made a merger decision which ignored Coimisiun na Mean advice. 

Furthermore there are sanctions in place relating to media mergers. As the licencing body for commercial radio and television in Ireland, Coimisiun na Mean could potentially block a merger involving one of its licensees  by withdrawing a licence, even if the merger does not involve another Coimisiun na Mean-licenced media outlet. Nor can media outlets simply ignore the state or regulator. Failure to notify the Minister for Communications of a merger is punishable by fine of up to €250,000 (see section 28B(8)(b) of the 2002 Act, as inserted by section 74 of the 2014 Competition and Consumer Protection Act). Similarly, section 28L of the 2002 Competition Act permits the Minister to seek a High Court injunction enforcing "compliance with the terms of a determination" (i.e. a decision relating to a given media merger).

Regulatory Safeguard Score: 3 out of 8 = High Risk (37,5%).

1 = media-specific regulation/ authority
0.5 = competition-related regulation/ authority

 

CROSS-MEDIA OWNERSHIPDescriptionYesNoNAMD
5.1Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds, based on objective criteria, such as number of licences, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue, to prevent a high degree of cross-ownership between the different media?This indicator aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors.  0
5.2Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these thresholds and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media authority)This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.  0
5.3Does the law grant body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as: 

  • Refusal of additional licences; Blocking of a merger or acquisition;
  • Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;
  • Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;
  • Divestiture.
  0
5.4Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?

The relevant authority never uses its sanctioning powers.

The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies provided by the regulation.

  0
5.5Can a high degree of cross-ownership between different media be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?

For instance, cross-ownership can be prevented by comptetion law: 

- by the mandatory intervention of a media authority in M&A cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority); 

- by the possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the competition authority for reasons of media pluralism (or Public interest in general);

1 
5.6Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these rules and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors via merger control/competition rules.1 
5.7Does the law grant body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?

Examples sanctioning/enforcement powers and remedies: 

- blocking of a merger or acquisition;

- obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- must carryobligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors ;

- divestiture.

0.5 
5.8Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies of the regulation.0.5 
Total                3 out of 8

Ownership Transparency

Result: Medium Risk

This indicator assesses the transparency of data about the political affiliations of media owners as ownership transparency is a crucial precondition to enforce media pluralism.  

Why?

The sample of the Media Ownership Monitor includes 47 media outlets, 22 companies and 39 individual owners.

  • Active Transparency means company/channel informs proactively and comprehensively about its ownership, data is constantly updated and easily verifiable. 16 outlets, 3 companies and 7 owners were ranked as Actively Transparent, i.e. 24% of the entire sample.  

  • Passive Transparency means upon request, ownership data is easily available from the company/channel. 0 outlets, 1 company and 1 owner were ranked as Passively Transparent, i.e. 2% of the entire sample. Most of these companies, outlets and owners are related to the media that provided detailed replies to MOM information requests. 

  • Data Publicly Available means ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc. 30 media outlets, 19 companies and 30 owners were ranked as Data Publicly Available, i.e. even if the websites didn’t inform them publicly of the owners those could be found in the public records such as the Albanian Business Register, this transparency ranking was used in 73% of cases.   

  • Data Unavailable means ownership data is not publicly available, company/channel denies the release of information or does not respond, no public record exists. In the sample there was 1 owner where no information could be retrieved. 
LOW (1)MEDIUM (2)HIGH (3)
TRANSPARENCY
6.1

How would you assess the transparency and accessibility of data about media ownership?

Active Transparency – 24%
Passive Transparency – 2%
Data Publicly Available – 73%
Data Unavailable – 1%
Active Disguise - 0%

Data on media owners as well as their political affiliations is publicly available and transparent.

(Active Transparency)

Code if that applies to > 75% of the sample

Data of media owners and their political affiliations are disclosed based on investigations of journalists and media activists or upon request.

(Passive Transparency, Publicly Available)

Code if that applies > 50% of the sample. 

Data on political affiliations of media owners are not easily accessible by the public and investigative journalists of activists are not successful in disclosing these data.

(Data Unavailable, Active Disguise)

Code if data is available for < 50% of the sample

There are two elements: access to data on media ownership and access to information regarding the political affiliations of media owners.

Taking access to data on media ownership first, Section 28M of the Competition Act, 2002 (as inserted by section 74 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014) (and as set out in full in q60 below) requires Coimisiun na Mean to prepare reports describing the ownership and control arrangements for undertakings carrying on a media business in the State. The first of these ownership reports was to be completed within a year of the passage of the 2014 Act and Coimisiun na Mean (then the BA)I was thereafter required to do follow-up reports at three year intervals. Section 28M(2)-(3) required the Minister for Communications to make the report available to the Irish parliament as to publish it on the internet "as soon as practicable." To date (2024) then there have been two such reports published, one relating to the 2012-2015 period and a subsequent one relating to 2015-2017. Notably a third report was due to have been published in 2021 and was apparently completed in that year. However, to date the third report has not been published and it is not clear  as to why this is the case.

However, since August 2020, these reports have been augmented by the existence of the mediaownership.ie resource. Commissioned by Coimisiun na Mean and compiled by the School of Communications at Dublin City University  the site constitutes a publicly accessible database of Irish and Irish-facing media ownership which is updated at least annually. As of 2024, the database contains data on 204 Irish or Irish-facing media outlets and Coimisum na Mean has committed to support the project until at least 2026. Of course, MOM Ireland in and of itself constitutes a publicly accessible resource regarding media ownership in Ireland. 

The second question relating to information about the political affiliation of owners is more complex. 

Although the Broadcasting Act 2009 does not permit serving politicians to sit on either the Coimisiun na Mean, RTE or TG4, there is no absolute prohibition on combining ownership of private with political office in Ireland. Indeed one of Ireland's largest print media organisations in the 20th century -  the Irish Press Group - was both founded and effectively owned by figures close to the Fianna Fail. Since the closure of the Group in 1995, however, there has been very little evidence of overlap between political office and media ownership. It maybe that the small scale of the Irish market discourages media outlets from declaring partisan support for particular political parties for fear it might discourage potential readers/listeners/viewers.

Guidelines on Media Mergers issued in the wake of the amendments to the Competition Act, 2002 by the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 note "stated political, or cultural allegiances expressed by media businesses party to the merger" may be taken into consideration in considering whether a given media merger will impact on the plurality and diversity of media with Ireland. It is hard to imagine how overt political affiliations would be regarded positively by those institutions charged with approving media mergers. 

For all that there is no publicly accessible database relating to the political affiliations of media owners in Ireland. Furthermore it is hard to envisage how such a database would work. Although it may be that the public pronouncements of media owners may appear to align their outlook with particular political parties, these might be presented as a coincidental agreement rather than a consistent, shared ideological outlook. 

Regulatory Safeguards: Ownership Transparency

Result: Medium Risk

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of transparency and disclosure provisions with regard to media ownership and/or control.

Why?

There is no legal obligation on media companies to publicly declare their ownership structures. The one exception to this might be when a media company has notified their intention to engage in merger or acquisition activity. ALL media mergers MUST be notified to the state. Such notifications require the filing of detailed information about the media outlet (including its ownership structures) with the Minister for Communications, the CCPC and - potentially - Coimisiun na Mean. The CCPC will generally issue a document after making a merger determination containing this information (although it is conceivable that some of the information might be redacted).

That there is public knowledge of media ownership stems from  Section 28M of the Competition Act, 2002 (as inserted by section 74 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014). This requires Coimisiun na Mean to prepare reports describing the ownership and control arrangements for undertakings carrying on a media business in the State. The first of these ownership reports was to be completed within a year of the passage of the 2014 Act and Coimisiun na Mean (then the BA)I was thereafter required to do follow-up reports at three year intervals. Section 28M(2)-(3) required the Minister for Communications to make the report available to the Irish parliament as to publish it on the internet "as soon as practicable." To date (2024) then there have been two such reports published, one relating to the 2012-2015 period and a subsequent one relating to 2015-2017. Notably a third report was due to have been published in 2021 and was apparently completed in that year. However, to date the third report has not been published and it is not clear  as to why this is the case.

However, since August 2020, these reports have been augmented by the existence of the mediaownership.ie resource. Commissioned by Coimisiun na Mean and compiled by the School of Communications at Dublin City University  the site constitutes a publicly accessible database of Irish and Irish-facing media ownership which is updated at least annually. As of 2024, the database contains data on 204 Irish or Irish-facing media outlets and Coimisum na Mean has committed to support the project until at least 2026. Of course, MOM Ireland in and of itself constitutes a publicly accessible resource regarding media ownership in Ireland.

Regulatory Safeguard Score: 3 out of 5 = Medium Risk (60%).

Transparency ProvisionsDescriptionYes No NAMD
7.1Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to publish their ownership structures on their website or in records/documents that are accessible to the public?The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for transparency towards the citizens, the users and the public in general.0
7.2Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to report (changes in) ownership structures to public authorities (such as the media authority)?The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for accountability and transparency towards public authorities.1
7.3Is there an obligation by national law to disclose relevant information after every change in ownership structure?This question aims at assessing if the law provides rules on the public availability of accurate and up-to-date data on media ownership. This is a condition for an effective transparency.1
7.4Are there any sanctions in case of non-respect of disclosure obligations?This question aims at assessing if the law on media ownership transparency can be enforced through the application of sanctions.1
7.5Do the obligations ensure that the public knows which legal or natural person effectively owns or controls the media company?This question aim at assessing the effectiveness of the laws that deal with media ownership transparency and if they succeed in disclosing the real owners of the media outlets.0
Total (Mean of L-e und L-I sub-indicators)           3 out of 5

 

 

Political Control Over Media Outlets

Result: Low Risk

This indicator assesses the risk of political affiliations and control over editorial independence of newsrooms. It also assesses the level of interference by politically affiliated actors in the work of news media.

Why?

The de Valera family’s ownership of the Irish Press Group from 1931 to 1995 and Sinn Fein’s association with An Phoblacht (since 2017, confined to online publication) notwithstanding, direct political control of media outlets is not a feature of the 21st century Irish media landscape. It may be possible to divine broad ideological preferences within the editorial line of, in particular, some Irish newspapers but overt political partisanship is not evident. It is also often asserted that RTE acts as a mouthpiece for the government but the objective evidence for this is not compelling, at least with regard to recent decades. It is true that during RTE’s first decade at a semi-state broadcaster (1962 to 1972), various governments did seek - with some success - to influence the editorial line of RTE. In particular the use of Section 31 of the 1960 Broadcasting Act, which permitted the government to direct RTE to refrain from broadcasting defined categories of content, was deployed to effectively ban voices associated with political violence from Irish airwaves until Section 31 was allowed to lapse in 1994. However such overt attempts at control can generally be regarded as relics of another era. (It should be noted, however, that the repeated refusal of Irish governments since 2008 to either increase the level of the broadcasting licence fee (which as of 2022 accounts for 55% of  RTE’s revenues) or to entirely replace the licence-fee based system of public funding with a model which reflects the realities of 21st century media consumption could be regarded as a tacit disciplining of RTE. The station has been in ongoing financial crisis since at least 2008 and funding constraints clearly obstructs its capacity to fulfill its full public service remit. 

That said, although the Broadcasting Act 2009 does not permit serving politicians to sit on either the Coimisiun na Mean, RTE or TG4, there is no absolute prohibition on combining ownership of private with political office in Ireland.

In any case, most news media in the country guarantee editorial independence in their statutes. Section 4.4 ("Editorial Integrity and Independence" ) of RTE’s Journalism Guidelines state that the station "must maintain our independence and integrity if we are to win the trust and respect of the community. RTÉ’s audiences should be confident that our editorial decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or by any personal interests." It appears to be the case that Virgin Media's also maintains editorial guidelines which include an internal code of conduct stipulating editorial independence from political interference. Bauer Media Ireland also operate internal codes of which include "editorial guidelines that specifically stipulates independence from political influence". 

The Irish Times has been owned by the Irish Times Trust CLG, a not-for-profit structure the Articles of Association for which declare the objective of securing and maintaining The Irish Times as ‘an independent newspaper primarily concerned with serious issues for the benefit of the community throughout the whole of Ireland, free from any form of personal or party political, commercial, religious or other sectional control’. Mediahuis Ireland also publish an Editorial Code of Conduct on their website which stresses that Mediahuis journalists "should seek to reflect all opinions by exploring a range of conflicting views" and "should be objective and even-handed in their approach".

 It should also be noted that section 2.3 of the Press Council of Ireland Code of Practice states that "Readers are entitled to expect that the content of the press reflects the best judgment of editors and writers and has not been inappropriately influenced by undisclosed interests. Wherever relevant, any significant financial interest of an organization should be disclosed. Writers should disclose significant potential conflicts of interest to their editors." 

Similarly the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity & Impartiality in News and Current Affairs invokes Section 42(2)(b) of the 2009 Broadcasting Act to state: "that the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner..." Neither the Press Council nor BAI specifically stipulate editorial independence from political interference but they are both clearly oriented towards that goal.

Score: 10 out of 24 =  41% Low Risk

 

LOW (1)MEDIUM (2)HIGH (3)
POLITICISATION OF MEDIA OUTLETS
8.1

What is the share of TV media owned by politically affiliated entities?

The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician, or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.The media having <50% >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician, or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation. The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician, or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
8.2

What is the share of Radio stations owned by politically affiliated entities?

The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.The media having <50%>30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician, or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation. The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
8.3What is the share of Newspapers owned by politically affiliated entities?
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.The media having <50%>30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation. The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
8.4What is the share of Online News Media owned by politically affiliated entities?
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician, or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.The media having <50%>30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician, or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation. The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician, or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation. 
8.5To what degree is politically affiliated ownership transparent?
There is only limited politically affiliated ownership in the country and in all cases, the owners and their interests are disclosed to the public.The majority of politically controlled news media are transparent about their ownership and interests.The majority of politically controlled media are secretive about their ownership and interests.
8.6Are there laws that regulate conflicts of interests between media ownership and political parties, partisan groups, party members, office holders and relatives?
There is clear and effective regulation that highlights the incompatibility of political office (on the local, regional, national level) with media ownership and requires transparency in the case of other political offices.There is regulation, but only covers some politically affiliated groups (effectively).There is no regulation, or regulation is ineffective.
8.7Do politically partisan owners or other political interest systematically interfere with the editorial autonomy of newsrooms?
The available evidence suggests very few or no attempts at interfering with editorial autonomy.The available evidence suggests occasional interferences and/or some degree of self-censorship in newsrooms. The available evidence suggests systemic interference with editorial autonomy, which may or may not be accompanied by self-censorship in newsrooms. 
8.8To what extent is editorial independence guaranteed in editorial statutes or in self-regulatory mechanisms?
Most news media in the country guarantee editorial independence in their statutes, or they subscribe to self-regulatory codes that do so.The most prestigious news media in the country guarantee editorial independence in their statutes, or they subscribe to self-regulatory codes that do so.Neither editorial statutes, nor self-regulation mentions editorial independence, or the guidelines are not respected by newsrooms.

Political Control Over Infrastructure

Result: Low Risk

This indicator assesses the political control over important infrastructural layers in the distribution, as well as in the value and supply chains of media content. It also assesses the level of discrimination in favour of politically affiliated media distribution networks. Infrastructural elements are in most cases privately owned and access is provided to news publishers for a fee.

Score: 6 out of 18 = 33% Low Risk

LOW (1)MEDIUM (2)HIGH (3)
POLITICISATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE
9.1How would you assess the conduct of the leading distribution networks for print media?
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.
9.2How would you assess the conduct of the leading radio distribution networks? NA
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.
9.3How would you assess the conduct of the leading television distribution networks? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions. All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions. 
9.4How would you assess the conduct of the leading internet distribution networks?
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.
9.5How would you assess the conduct of the leading service providers in the advertising market?
There is no indication that major commercial advertising agencies / sales houses would discriminate against independent media.At least one of the leading commercial advertising agencies / sales houses discriminates against independent media due to political affiliations (despite having a significant audience share).Independent news media don’t have access to commercial advertising agencies / sales houses discriminating against independent media due to political affiliations (despite having a significant audience share).
9.6How would you assess the conduct of the leading audience measurement services?
Audience measurement services are in practice available to all relevant market players and comply with industry standards; transparency, non-discrimination, proportionality, objectivity and inclusiveness of the methodology and the service is guaranteed.At least one of the leading audience measurement services raises concerns related to transparency, non-discrimination, proportionality, objectivity, and/or inclusiveness. All of the leading audience measurement services raise concerns related to transparency, non-discrimination, proportionality, objectivity, and/or inclusiveness.

State Control Over Media Resources

Result: Medium Risk

This indicator assesses the influence of the state on the functioning of the media market, through control over public funds and resources, with an emphasis on the risk of discrimination in the distribution of state support and advertisement. The discrimination can be reflected in favouritism towards political parties or affiliates of political parties in the government, or in penalising the media criticising the government.

Why?

Score: 13 out 27 = 48% = Medium Risk 

LOW (1)MEDIUM (2)HIGH (3)
10.1Is state advertising distributed to media proportionately to their audience share?  No Data
State advertising is distributed to the media relatively proportionately to the audience shares of media.State advertising is distributed disproportionately (in terms of audience share) to the media. State advertising is distributed exclusively to few media outlets, which do not cover all major media outlets in the country.
10.2How would you assess the rules of distribution of state advertising?
State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on fair and transparent rules.State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on a set of rules but it is unclear whether they are fair and transparent.There are no rules regarding distribution of state advertising to media outlets or these are not transparent and/or fair.
IMPORTANCE OF STATE ADVERTISING
10.3

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall Radio advertising market?
VALUE: Estimation

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall marketShare of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall marketShare of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market
10.3a

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall Radio advertising market?
VALUE: Estimation

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.
10.3b

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall Newspaper advertising market?

VALUE: 1.4%

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.
10.3c

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall Online news media advertising market (without amounts spent on news intermediaries)?

VALUE:N/A

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.
10.4Is direct financial support distributed fairly, transparently and based on clear rules? NA
There are clear rules on the allocation of direct state subsidies and, in practice, subsidies are transparently and fairly allocated (criteria may not only be based on market share, but also public interest content, underserved communities, the need for innovation, etc.)The rules on the allocation of direct state subsidies are either not clear or the process of allocation lacks sufficient transparency or shows signs of political bias.There are no rules on the allocation of direct state subsidies and/or the allocation of subsidies is opaque and/or clearly discriminatory.
10.5Is indirect financial support distributed fairly, transparently and based on clear rules?
There are clear rules on the allocation of indirect state subsidies and, in practice, access to indirect subsidies is transparent and fair.The rules on the allocation of indirect state subsidies are either not clear or the process of allocation lacks sufficient transparency or shows signs of political bias.There are no rules on the allocation of indirect state subsidies and/or the allocation of indirect subsidies is opaque and/or clearly discriminatory.
10.5Do all media outlets have access to the state-financed news agency, and do they receive quality content relevant for their news production?
There is a state-financed news agency in the country that is accessible to all news media under the same (and fair) conditions, providing objective, well-sourced information.There are some concerns related to access to the state financed news agency or possible bias in the content provided.Access to the state-owned news agency causes unnecessary burden for some news media and/or its content is biased.
10.6Do you consider the financing of the PSM independent and adequate? Not Applicable
The financing of the PSM is adequate, without distorting competition with private media; and the process includes sufficient guarantees against political dependencies (e.g. through licence fees)?The financing of the PSM is insufficient or could distort competition with private media; and the funding process may enable political dependencies?The financing is insufficient to a degree that quality journalism is not or hardly possible and/or the funding process is clearly under political control.
10.11How do you assess the independence of the appointment and dismissal process of the PSM management?
There are clear rules on the appointment and dismissal of the PSM management, independence from political actors is guaranteed; and in practice appointments and dismissal decisions are made based on professional considerations.Appointment and dismissal rules of PSM management may allow for some political influence and/or the practice of appointments and dismissals shows signs of bias.Rules on appointment and dismissal of PSM management clearly enable political influence and/or appointments and/or dismissals are clearly politically motivated.

 

 

Regulatory Safeguards: Net Neutrality

Risk: Low

Network neutrality is the principle that all data on networks should be treated equally by not discriminating or charging differently in terms of users, content, sites or applications. Protecting net neutrality is essential to safeguarding media diversity because it guarantees equal ability to access and disseminate information, opinions, perspectives, etc. online, which is essential to media diversity. This indicator aims to capture the landscape of legal regulation of net neutrality as well as the specific regulatory mechanisms that address net neutrality.

Why?

Score: 10 out of 11 = Low Risk (90%)

 

NET NEUTRALITYDescriptionYesNoNAMD
Does national law address net neutrality directly or indirectly?Neutrality is regulated by domestic law in any way; it also aims to reflect any agreement between countries, as in the EU and countries that are part of the Council of Europe.1
Does national law contain norms that prohibit blocking of websites or content online?This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent blocking, one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework0.5
Does national law contain norms that prohibit throttling of services or content provided online?This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent throttling, one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework1
Does national law contain norms that prohibit zero-rating and/or paid prioritization?This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent zero-rating (of which paid prioritization is a common form), one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework1
Where net neutrality is protected by law, does the legal framework recognize any exceptions, e.g. for reasonable network management?This question establishes when reasonable limits are placed on net neutrality protections versus other limits that may undermine its effectiveness.1
Norms that prohibit or limit zero-rating are successfully implemented: Paid prioritization does not take place.This question aims to flesh out the extent to which paid prioritization occurs in practice despite its prohibition in law; a number of countries with ostensibly strong zero-rating protections experience this phenomenon. This indicator may shed light on the degree of difference between law and practices on the ground1
Norms that prohibit or limit zero-rating are successfully implemented: No other forms of zero-rating take place.Same as above1
Norms are successfully implemented: Blocking and/or throttling do not take place.This question seeks to determine how the legal framework in place to protect net neutrality operates in practice with respect to blocking and throttling 0.5
Are there regulatory or other entities charged with monitoring and enforcing net neutrality protections?This question highlights whether there are authorities charged with enforcing net neutrality protections 1
Have sanctions been imposed for violations of net neutrality protections where these exist?This question may illustrate the extent to which violations of net neutrality norms are taken seriously as a matter of rule of law and political will1
Are the enforcement mechanisms in place to identify and respond to net neutrality violations viewed as effective?This question shows the extent to which net neutrality norms actually achieve their goals 1
Total (Mean of L-e und L-I sub-indicators) 10

 

 

Gender Imbalance in the Media Industry

Result: High Risk

This indicator assesses the representation of women in news media, focusing on relevant newsroom policies and the share of women in management positions.

Why?

Score: 17 out of 21 = High Risk (81%)

LOW (1)MEDIUM (2)HIGH (3)
12.1Do the leading news media in your country have a policy aiming at a balanced representation of women in the newsroom?
Most leading news media have a gender equality policy or other kinds of self-regulatory measures to make sure that there is adequate representation of women in the newsrooms and in management positions. Moreover, there are mechanisms at place to make sure women in the newsroom don’t encounter harassment or discrimination.Some news media have a gender equality policy or other kinds of self-regulatory measures to make sure that there is adequate representation of women in the newsrooms and in management positions. In these news media, there are mechanisms at place to make sure women in the newsroom don’t encounter harassment or discrimination.There is no gender equality policy in the newsrooms assessed, or they are not effective, leading to discrimination and harassment of female journalists.
12.2Are women journalists subject to harassment or online/ offline violence in your country?
The working environment of women journalists is safe, harassment online or offline is not common, sufficient safeguards are in place.Both men and women are harassed to a similar extent, (physical) violence against female journalists is not common.Cases of violence are reported and harassment of women journalists is common in the country, with many known and reported cases. Women are considered to be more targeted by harassment and violence than men.
12.3

What is the share of women among owners of leading news media? Not Available

40 percent or moreBetween 39 and 30 percentLess than 30 percent
12.4

What is the share of women among founders of news media? Not Available

40 percent or moreBetween 39 and 30 percentLess than 30 percent
12.5

What is the share of women amongst top managers of news media (such as director/CEO)?

Based on Top 2, market leaders
VALUE TV: 0 out of 2 (RTÉ and Virgin)
VALUE Radio:
1 out of 2 (RTÉ and Bauer)
VALUE Print: 1 out of 2 (Irish Times and Mediahuis)
VALUE Online: 0 out of 2 (Journal.ie and RTÉ)
Average of VALUES: 25%

40 percent or moreBetween 39 and 30 percentLess than 30 percent
12.6

What is the share of women editors-in-chief (or equivalent leading editorial positions in the newsroom)?  

Based on Top 2, market leaders
VALUE TV: 1 out of 2 (RTÉ and Virgin)
VALUE Radio:
1 out of 2 (RTÉ and Bauer)
VALUE Print: 0 out of 2 (Irish Times and Mediahuis)
VALUE Online: 1 out of 2 (Journal.ie and RTÉ)
Average of VALUES: 37.5%

40 percent or moreBetween 39 and 30 percentLess than 30 percent
12.7

What is the share of women in the boards of news media (meaning non-editorial management positions, such as chief financial officer, head of sales and marketing, etc.)? 

RTÉ: 3 out of 8 (37.5%)
Virgin: 5 out of 12 (41%)
Bauer: 2 of 6 (33.3%)
Mediahuis: 1 out of 14 (7%)
Irish Times: 6 out of 9 (board of directors) (66.7%)
News Corp: 3 out of 7 (board of directors) (42.8%)
Reach PLC: 4 out of 9 (44,4%)
Daily Mail and General Trust 3 out of 10 (30%)
Average of VALUES: 37.8%

 

40 percent or moreBetween 39 and 30 percentLess than 30 percent

 

 

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