I am delighted to be joined by our guests from the Future of Media Commission. I ask colleagues to bear with me while I go through some housekeeping matters. The format of the meeting is that I will invite Professor Brian MacCraith to make his opening statement, to be followed by an exchange of views with committee members. As our guests are probably aware, the committee may publish the opening statements on its website following the meeting.
Before I invite Professor MacCraith to deliver his opening statement, which is limited to three minutes, I advise the witnesses of the following with regard to parliamentary privilege. Witnesses are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if their statements are potentially defamatory in respect of an identifiable person or entity, they may be directed to discontinue their remarks. It is imperative that they comply with any such direction. As some of our witnesses are attending remotely from outside of the Leinster House campus, they should note that there are limitations to parliamentary privilege and, as such, they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as a witness who is physically present does.
Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House, or an official, either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. I remind members of the constitutional requirements that they must be physically present in the confines of Leinster House or the convention centre to participate in the public meeting. Any member who is not so present will be asked to leave the meeting. I ask members to identify themselves when contributing for the benefit of the Debates Office staff who are preparing the Official Report. I also ask them to mute their microphones when not contributing in order to reduce background noise and feedback. I ask our guests and members to use the raise hand function on their screen if they want to contribute. I remind all those joining the meeting to ensure their mobile phones are switched off or on silent.
I welcome the following witnesses who will be joining us from committee room 3 remotely via Microsoft Teams: Professor Brian MacCraith, chair of the Future of Media Commission; and commission members Ms Sinéad Burke, CEO of Tilting the Lens; Professor Gillian Doyle, professor of media economics at Glasgow University; Ms Siobhán Holliman, deputy editor of the Tuam Herald; and Mr. Mark Little, CEO of Kinzen. I welcome, too, Mr. Andrew Munro, secretary of the commission, who has been most helpful in arranging the meeting. I thank all our witnesses very much for attending. We are delighted to have them. I am sure they know well the format of the meeting, whereby we will hear the opening statement and then have questions from members, who will get a certain amount of time for their questions. We will try to keep matters moving and give all members an opportunity to contribute because it is a short meeting and there is a lot to get through.
Without further ado, I invite Professor MacCraith to make his opening statement.