By Alan Keane

Account Manager

It goes without saying that this PR firm is 100% behind the Journalism Matters campaign.

When speaking with clients, we consistently bang the drum for print media. Plunkett PR believes that at a time where attention spans are down and clickbait headlines are snowballing, there is more of a need than ever before for quality print journalism to hold those in power accountable.

Local print media is the lifeblood of communities across the country. It was a print journalist who broke the Tuam Babies scandal, and it is print media that broadcast and online outlets often turn to for inspiration and content.

As a PR firm which prides itself on media relations, Plunkett PR has seen first-hand the struggles in national and local newsrooms. We don’t believe that the cutbacks in the industry in recent years are a true reflection of the importance of print media, but rather a result of print media trying to find its way in a new economic reality.

The Journalism Matters campaign puts five requests to the government, which if actioned would go a long way to guaranteeing the future of print media industry in this country.

  • Apply a 5% VAT rate to newspapers and digital products in Budget 2019, ahead of ultimately reducing to 0% once EU laws allow

  • Reform Ireland’s draconian defamation laws to ensure that the stories that need to be told, are told

  • Appoint a Minister for Media – a single member of the Cabinet should have oversight for all aspects of our complex media landscape

  • Establish a News Publishers Media Fund – to drive innovation and investment

  • Invest in a training support scheme for all journalists

Given the important role that’s played by journalism in regard to this country’s public interest, the above doesn’t seem a whole lot to ask.