Local Media needs our help during Covid-19

Local Media needs our help during Covid-19

Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh TD has called for Government support for Local Media as they find themselves in a perilous financial situation due to a dramatic decline in their advertising revenue within a very short space of time. He said that “Local Newspapers and Radio Stations are facing into an uncertain future in the light of the sudden effects of the Covid-19 crisis on their industry”

Deputy Ó Cathasaigh echoes the calls made by his colleague Brian Leddin TD of Limerick who is the Green Party’s spokesperson on Communications. Deputy Leddin has written to Richard Bruton – Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to ask for assistance for Local Radio at this time.

Limerick’s Deputy Leddin said that “The public service function of local radio is particularly important with the COVID-19 crisis. In many areas the local radio station is part of the emergency planning team because they are the best way that we have of disseminating public health information in many areas”

Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said “I cannot stress enough the important role local radio plays within the community – particularly outside of Dublin. They provide local news, local updates and a local service as well as being a friend in the kitchen for the growing numbers of people living alone or self-isolating”

The Green Party is asking the Minister Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, for a one-off financial support for radio stations to support their public service work at this time. They ask specifically that in light of the pressing need to keep local radio stations on air, some of the Sound and Vision 3 Fund be temporarily diverted towards helping radio stations fulfil their role as a trusted news source during this crisis.

Deputy Ó Cathasaigh went on to say that “We have been in touch with various local media organisations and one told us that their advertising simply fell off a cliff within the space of a couple of days. These are unprecedented times for everyone but in this era of fake news, we depend on our trusted local media now, more than ever for facts and accurate news”.

He added that “local newspapers are also feeling the pressure as they are struggling on two fronts – their advertising has dropped off but so too have their sales as more and more people are self isolating”.

He urged anyone who was in a position to take out advertising in their local paper to do so at this stage. He said that “while several businesses have had to close temporarily, some are recruiting extra staff and others are finding new opportunities to help keep their businesses afloat. Local newspapers are the perfect way to promote a new product/service or to help with recruiting staff”.

He finished by saying that “I’m regularly asking people to buy a paper but never has this been more important. If you are in isolation and can’t get out to buy a paper, you can buy an online edition or have the paper edition sent to you. You can also subscribe for 6 months or more. Contact your local paper and they will tell you how”. 

Leave a Reply