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A conference hosted by Nessa Childers MEP

Friday 3rd June – Radisson Blu, Dublin 8

This all-day conference debated the concept of media diversity and ownership in both online and traditional print media – and explore the implications for traditional notions of democratic accountability and journalistic independence. To seek an answer to these questions and explore issues around ownership and challenges presented by online news sources two pieces of research were launched on the day. The research undertaken by Nessa Childers in partnership with the Institute For Future Media and Journalism (FUJO / DCU) examined the relationship between large media shareholders and media content through coverage of four major news stories in Ireland between the years 2012 to 2015 – and the second piece of research looks at how social media affects different news organisations differently through a series of interviews with these organisations to find out about their experiences.

Nessa Childers MEP – Speech

Dr. Roderick Flynn – ‘The relationship between large media shareholders and media content in Ireland’

Dr. Eugenia Siapera – ‘News media in a changing ecosystem: Studying the impact of social media platforms across news media organisations in Ireland’

S&D position paper on Media Pluralism

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Photo (L to R) Conference speakers – Gemma O Doherty Journalist, Nessa Childers MEP, Dr. Roddy Flynn DCU, Jane Whyatt ECPMF.

Programme

Each session will be followed by questions from the audience

Safeguarding journalism – balancing independence and regulation (9.15am to 11.15am) Chair – Brian Hayes MEP

Nessa Childers MEP – Conference opening address

This opening session discusses the current state of journalism in Ireland and across Europe, both in traditional news sources and with the dominance of online sources of news and implications for journalistic freedom and media regulation.

• Renate Schroeder, Director European Federation of Journalists
• Seamus Dooley, Irish Secretary National Union of Journalists
• Flutura Kusari, Legal Advisor, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
• Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Coffee / Tea break

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Nessa with (L to R) Jane Whyatt, Renata Schroeder and Flutura Kusari.

Democracy’s gatekeepers (11.15am to 1.15pm) Chair – Noel Whelan

Traditionally the role of news journalism has been to hold power to account, thereby playing a central role in a functioning democracy, and should apply when news is sourced online or via traditional broadcast or print media. But do these notions of journalistic independence still hold true?

• Dr. Roderick Flynn – ‘The relationship between large media shareholders and media content in Ireland’

• Gemma O Doherty – ‘When journalists become spin doctors – how the Irish media is failing public interest’

• Daniel McConnell, Political Editor The Irish Examiner

• Jane Whyatt, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom – introducing the ECPMF’s new support systems for independent and investigative journalists under threat

Lunch

Programme folder

Digital democracy (2.15pm to 4.15pm) Chair – Lynn Boylan MEP

Social media has provided what many see as an alternative and less biased route for campaign and political movements to communicate their message and this section explores the role of traditional news sources in creating a viable online presence and asks how we find our news online.

• Dr. Jane Suiter introducing and Dr. Eugenia Siapera presenting the research: ‘News Media in a Changing Ecosystem: Studying the impact of social media platforms across news media organizations in Ireland’ Dublin City University
• Christine Bohan, Deputy Editor TheJournal.ie
• David Cochrane, Social Media Editor Irish Times
• Anne Marie McNally, Political strategist and founding member of the Social Democrats
• Niamh Sweeney, Head of Public Policy Facebook Ireland

Conclusion

Nessa Childers – closing remarks

The conference is funded by the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

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