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17/02/2011

Greens Want Ireland's TV Licence Scrapped

Television licensing in the Irish Republic could be in for a major change if the eco-friendly Green Party form part of the new Dáil.
They said this week they would change the television licence fee system if it again becomes part of the next government after this month's General Election.
That's according to Dublin South TD Eamon Ryan who said the licence fee was an outdated and ineffective method of funding for public sector broadcasting.
He said, the Internet had rendered it "close to obsolete, overly bureaucratised and ineffective".
"Good journalism, whether on the television, radio, in print or online costs money," the former Minister for Communications said.
"Equally, while subscription firewalls work for certain types of content, we should be careful not to dilute the freedom of information on the Internet," he continued.
As reported in the Irish Times this week, he said: "One approach to the financing of public sector broadcasting, including the possibility of other media, involves some small charge on the volume of data.
"This funding model would fund public service content and be much easier to charge and cheaper to operate than our current licence fee collection system," he said.
However, he noted that any move towards such a model would require consultation and the answer to the hanging question of how to fund newsrooms while maintaining absolute editorial independence?
(BMcC/GK)
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