The recently published Digital News Report compiled by Reuters has gained much media attention in the past week. Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, members of the Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society (FuJo) undertook research into areas such as attitudes towards paying for news, whether Irish demographics feel represented in the media and the increase in the number of people moving back to television as their main source of news.
Many FuJo members themselves made significant contributions, appearing across a range of news outlets to discuss the report. Dr. Dawn Wheatley wrote for the Irish Independent about the report’s findings that much of the public feel under-represented in the Irish media. The recent controversy surrounding Wild Mountain Thyme, she says, highlights the hyper-sensitivity that Irish people have towards how the nation is represented globally. The report suggests that this sensitivity trickles down to news level, with the 18-24 cohort in particular feeling unfairly treated by Irish media.
Professor Colleen Murrell appeared on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland and Kildare FM to discuss the increased trust in news media as well as the return of Irish consumers to television news. Murrel highlighted the rise in young people consuming news, as well as the overall increase in public levels of trust towards certain legacy media.
Writing for The Journal, Dr Eileen Culloty outlined the need for the Irish public to be involved in the debates about how media is funded and regulated. Culloty writes that the media funding crisis, which stems largely from a lack of advertising revenue, is compounded by the public’s overall lack of awareness that a crisis even exists. Working to increase media literacy across all levels of society, she says, is the first step towards ensuring that the Irish public have a voice in the much needed debates around media finding and regulation.
The Reuters Digital News Report is a global yearly study looking at changes in the digital news landscape in 46 different countries. The Irish section of the report was published on the 23rd of June and is available here.