Moving from courts to institutions of accountability

Authored by: Roderick Flynn

The European Handbook of Media Accountability

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472457660
eBook ISBN: 9781315616353
Adobe ISBN:


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The development of media accountability institutions came late (mid-1990s to early 21st century) to Ireland because media output was disciplined by other means. The retention of a state monopoly on legal broadcasting until 1988 allowed the state to retain indirect control of broadcast output through ownership. The introduction of censorship in the print media in 1929 was extended by the Emergency Powers Act of 1939–1976, permitting the state extensive control of print content. Only since the 1970s have more transparent mechanisms of media accountability been contemplated. In broadcasting, the remit of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission gradually extended after the 1970s, while in print an industry-organized Press Council was established in 2007. To date, however, such formal mechanisms of accountability have not been substantially augmented by any online culture of citizen-driven monitoring of media output.

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