Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) has welcomed the publication of the draft programme for Government document ‘Our Shared Future’ which includes the vast majority of the representative body’s key proposals.

In order to sustain and grow the independent production sector, which makes the majority of original Irish content on our screens and to safeguard public service media in Ireland, SPI submitted a set of proposals for the next programme for Government. 

Policy relating to the production sector referenced in the Programme for Government includes:

  • Bring together all policy functions relating to broadcast media, print media and online media into a single media division within a government department.
  • Expand the remit of the Public Service Broadcasting Commission to become a Future of Media Commission and to consider the future of print, broadcast and online media in a platform agnostic fashion. It will report within 9 months on the necessary measures that need to be taken to ensure there is a vibrant, independent public service media for the next generation. The current funding model for public service broadcasting is inefficient and the Commission will publish recommendations.
  • Recognise the important role of Irish public service broadcasting in Irish life and the ongoing restructuring efforts at RTÉ in the context of a changing media environment. 
  • Work with the relevant government departments to ensure the full implementation of the Audio-visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

These are very positive developments for the production sector in Ireland, particularly bringing together communications and media under one Division. Creating one division with oversight over media would ensure that the priorities for reform and growth are not missed, while keeping together all personnel relevant to the issues of the sector in one division, creating greater efficiencies and cost savings. It is also positive to note the continued political support for the Film and TV tax incentive, Section 481, which is a critical support for both indigenous and international incoming productions

If the finalised Programme for Government is approved by the membership of the three political parties then SPI looks forward to constructive engagement with the new media division, media commission and the Oireachtas on the implementation of the AVMSD.

Elaine Geraghty, CEO – Screen Producers Ireland

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