Written Answers. - Newspaper Commission Appointment.

Mary O'Rourke


68 Mrs. O'Rourke asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment the reason he failed to appoint a representative of newsagents to the Newspaper Commission. [2231/96]

The Commission on the Newspaper Industry was set up by me following a comprehensive debate on the newspaper industry which took place in the wake of the publication of the Competition Authority's report on newspapers. Following receipt of that report, I had discussions with interested parties and I hosted a forum on the newspaper industry. The commission was given wide-ranging terms of reference which required broad membership from many walks of life. In drawing up membership, I invited nominations from representative organisations within the industry including IBEC, ICTU, NUJ, NNI and PNI.

In addition, in order that the commission would be representative of as many facets of Irish life as possible, I nominated persons with special insights from advertising, economics, business and media law, communications, business, culture and equality sectors. I received representations from interested persons, groups and organisations to be nominated to the commission. It was not possible to accommodate everyone's wishes. The commission is independent and consists of 20 members under the distinguished chairmanship of the former Chief Justice, Mr. Thomas Finlay. I am confident that the membership of the commission is balanced and I look forward to its important report.
I understand that the commission has received submissions so far from a large number of organisations and individuals including the National Federation of Retail Newsagents. If other newsagent interests wish to make further information available to the commission it is still open to them to do so.