NewsBrands’ CEO expresses criticism of FMC

The representative body for Ireland’s national newspapers NewsBrands has questioned the formation of the newly-formed Future of Media Commission (FMC), set up by the Government to examine the future of broadcast, print and digital journalism at a time when the traditional funding model is no longer viable, as they say it does not reflect press interests.

The FMC is chaired by former DCU president Prof Brian MacCraith.

While welcoming the FMC, NewsBrands chief executive Ann Marie Lenihan (pictured) said she was disappointed by the lack of representation on the commission of individuals with direct experience in the Irish news publishing business. She called for the addition of at least one suitably experienced person from Irish newspapers to join the FMC.

The 11-person commission includes former Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.

Other members include Sinead Burke, director, Tilting the Lens; Lynette Fay, a freelance broadcaster with BBC Radio Ulster; Nuala O’Connor, co-founder, North Wind Blows; Gillian Doyle, professor of media economics; Mark Little, CEO, Kinzen; Stephen McNamara, director of communications, IRFU and Dr Finola Doyle-O’Neill, broadcast historian, UCC.

Then NewsBrands statement coincides with a Financial Times report that Google has agreed to pay news publishers about $1 billion over the next three years, as it tries to develop new terms of trade with media groups and avoid costly legal action by regulators. The money will support the Google News Showcase being launched in the coming months.

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