Government concerned over diversity of Irish media ownershipFriday 20 April 2012 18.28
Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte has said the Government is concerned about diversity of ownership and diversity of content in the Irish media.
Mr Rabbitte was responding to questions about the resignation of Gavin O'Reilly as chief executive of Independent News and Media, amid attempts by Denis O'Brien to take control of the company.
He said: "The media is different. The media affects the character of our democracy.
"Our public affairs depends on a diverse media. And I don't mean diversity just in terms of content but diversity of ownership.
"I hope the new legislation ... will be published as soon as possible, if not before summer, then immediately after it."
Mr Rabbitte said that upcoming competition legislation will bring responsibility for the issue to his department.
Asked if he was concerned that Mr O'Brien owned too much media in Ireland, he said that since he was likely to be the minister with responsibility for all the media, he did not want to be seen to pre-judge the situation.
Mr Rabbitte said: "But I can leave out personalities and say to you, that generally, Government is concerned about diversity of ownership and diversity of content, and it doesn't matter who the person is or what the undertakings are, that's our principled position."