Coimisiún na Meán, Ireland’s new media regulator and media development agency, has publihjsed its work programme for the coming nine months.
- For the first time, online service providers will have legally binding obligations to take steps that make the internet safer for everyone.
- Regulation will be extended to cover on-demand services, as well as traditional TV, reflecting significant changes in viewing habits in recent years.
- Support for the wider media sector will be extended, with funding schemes for local journalism, a review of Irish language services, and a strategy to promote Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the media.
- The organisation will grow from around 50 staff at present to approximately 160 in the first phase of growth.
“Harmful and illegal online content is an international problem. Our job is to regulate service providers based in Ireland, to make the internet safer for people here and across the EU. An Coimisiún will adopt a binding online safety code to address harmful content on video-sharing platforms, and we will enforce the new EU Digital Services Act in respect of a wider range of harms. We will particularly focus on keeping children safe. We will also work closely with our counterparts in other EU member States and with the European Commission, so that Irish users are protected, wherever the providers are based.”Executive Chairperson of Coimisiún na Meán, Jeremy Godfrey
Mr Godfrey noted that the online safety code and the Digital Services Act will have real teeth. If service providers do not take appropriate steps to reduce online harms, they face fines of up to 10% or 6% of worldwide turnover respectively.
Within the Media Development section of the work plan, there is a commitment to continue activities previously conducted by the BAI, including the implementation of a sectoral learning and development programme, the development of media literacy initiatives to assist the public to critically appraise online and broadcast content, and promotion of high standards of environmental practices in the media sector.
Coimisiún na Meán’s initial programme of work can be found here.