The Government has put in place a range of supports for all businesses which are available to the print and online sectors during health restrictions imposed by Covid-19. The production and publication of newspapers, journals and periodicals and the distribution of those publications has been listed as an essential service.
I met with representatives of the NUJ recently to hear their concerns and we agreed that my officials and I will continue to engage with them, with a view to ensuring a shared understanding of the challenges they face, and in order to protect and sustain this critically important sector.
The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, recognises the importance of a vibrant, diverse and independent media to our democracy and our cultural development. In this context we have expanded the remit of the Public Service Broadcasting Commission to become the Future of Media Commission, tasked with considering the future of print, broadcast, and online media in a platform agnostic fashion. On 29 September 2020 the Government agreed the terms of reference and membership of the Future of Media Commission.
I look forward to receiving the Commission's Report on the completion of its work which will inform media policy including print media.