The papers provide public service and should share in State funding
Published 09/11/2016 | 02:30
Newspapers provide one of the most integral threads in the fabric of democracy.
They serve the public as guardians and watchdogs; entertainers and informers.
People may not buy as many as they did before the dawn of the technological age but they still rely on newspapers for the information they digest on other media platforms.
For instances, when you turn on RTÉ Radio One over breakfast you are likely to hear Morning Ireland's 'what it says in the papers' item.
A couple of hours later, Ryan Tubridy reads through the same newspapers to open his show. On Sunday mornings, Marian Finucane, one of RTÉ's highest-paid broadcasters, bases the majority of her show on what is in the newspapers that day.
Then there are the daily news bulletins and current affairs shows on RTÉ, and other broadcasters, which follow up on stories broken by newspapers. This is not to suggest they do not also produce their own original content.
But now, the Oireachtas Communications Committee is examining whether newspapers should share in the public funding available to broadcasters due to difficulties in the industry.
And given the important role newspapers play in society this is a proposal that should be given close consideration.