The newspaper industry in Ireland faces growing problems with rising prices and increasing competition.
A major forum on the future of the Irish newspaper industry has been told that the growing cost of Irish newspapers presents a significant problem for the industry.
The forum, which took place at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin, discussed issues such as growing competition, rising costs, rapid changes in technology and printing capacity.
Addressing the forum, Minister for Enterprise and Employment Richard Bruton spelt out the harsh reality facing the newspaper industry. He said that in the past twenty years,
Irish newspaper sales have fallen by twenty two and a half per cent.
At the same time, British titles selling in Ireland have grown in sales by thirty nine and a half per cent. The real price of Irish newspapers had grown by ninety one per cent in that period.
Broadcaster John Bowman addressed the forum speaking about the problems facing the Irish Press group. To the foremost of people's minds was the Competition Authority’s findings that Independent Newspapers shareholding in the Irish Press Group is both abuse of a dominant position and anti-competitive.
Speaking to RTÉ News, Richard Bruton said that people would be very worried if the Irish Press went under and the challenge is to offer people a "good, diverse media".
One of the key problems facing Irish newspapers is pricing. Ted Crosbie Chairman of the Cork Examiner claims that Irish newspapers are always going to be more expensive than their English counterparts as a result of costs of production, economies of scale and circulation numbers.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 May 1995. The reporter is Colm Connolly.