Appointment of Members of Coimisiún na Meán Announced by Minister Catherine Martin
Catherine Martin, the minister for tourism, culture, arts, Gaeltacht, sport, and media, announced that the Government of Ireland has appointed four commissioners to the newly formed Coimisiun na Mean (Media Commission) on January 17, 2023.
Four Commissioners Appointed
The passage of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act (OSMR) led to the formation of the Media Commission, which will function as the supervisory body in compliance with the OSMR and as the Digital Services Coordinator of Ireland in compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA).
The Media Commission will implement and enforce the DSA, which is a European Union (EU) regulation in Ireland.
The Government of Ireland has appointed the following individuals as the commissioners of the Media Commission.
- Jeremy Godfrey, the executive chairperson of the Media Commission, will coordinate all the functions of the newly formed body.
- Niamh Hodnett, the online safety commissioner, will supervise the regulations related to online safety in compliance with the OSMR.
- Ronan O’Domhnaill, the media development commissioner, will oversee the funding and development of wider media sectors and the implementation of the key recommendations in the Report of the Future of Media Commission.
- Celene Craig, the broadcasting commissioner, will oversee the activities of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
About Niamh Hodnett: Online Safety Commissioner
Having comprehensive experience in drafting, implementing, and overseeing compliance with administrative responsibilities in the online and communication sectors, Hodnett’s expertise is considerably exhaustive in the realms of data protection, cybersecurity, competition, consumer protection and communication regulation.
Additionally, she has also been involved in enforcing online measures to safeguard people who are vulnerable to online gambling harm, whether it comes in the form of excessive use of no deposit casino bonus codes or placing wagers through sportsbook providers.
Media Commission Replaces BAI
On December 10, 2022, when the OSMR Act became law, the Government of Ireland dissolved the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and established the Coimisiun na Mean in its place. The Media Commission is a body responsible for the following:
- Overseeing regulation of on-demand video and broadcasting services in Ireland
- Introducing new regulations for online safety
- Supporting the development of wider media sectors in the country
- Implementing the revised version of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive into Irish law books
The four newly appointed commissioners will start functioning in the middle of February. The Government of Ireland appointed them after an open competition organized by the Public Appointments Service.
The government is also in the process of recruiting the Commissioner for Digital Services, who will be responsible for leading digital services functions.
Minister Martin Speaks
In her speech following the appointment, Minister Martin said that the way in which Irish residents read, listen to, and view media content on radio, over the Internet, or on television has transformed dramatically in the last ten years. We now come across a huge body of user-generated content online.
She said that the Media Commission was formed in response to these changes as per the provisions of the OSMR, which was passed into law in December 2022. The newly formed body will supervise an exhaustive regulatory framework for on-demand video services and traditional broadcasting services.
Thanks to this development, Ireland has a body to oversee online services for the first time. The Commission will also implement the recommendations of the Future of Media Commission.
The Commission will protect all consumers of media content, especially underage Irish residents, as they use and interact with online spaces. It will ensure that the Irish media sector will continue to be independent, viable, and capable of delivering the objectives of public service.
Announcing the appointment of the members of the newly formed Media Commission, Minister Martin predicted that Niamh, Jeremy, Celene, and Ronan will introduce a wealth of regulatory expertise and professional experience to their roles.
Executive Chairperson Jeremy Godfrey Speaks
Godfrey considers his appointment as the executive chairperson of the Media Commission as an honor.
The new executive chairperson says that he and his fellow commissioners aim to ensure a safe, diverse, and thriving media and online landscape in Ireland. He assured that providing high-quality protection from harmful and illegal content will soon become a priority in the European Union and Ireland.
Godfrey also said that the four commissioners look forward to accomplishing the following tasks:
- Implementing effective regulations and expand media and broadcast funding schemes
- Transparently and openly interacting with stakeholders
- Collaborating closely with EU and Irish regulators, along with the European Commission, to implement new sets of regulations for safe broadcasting and viewing of online content.