With the digital revolution and the globalisation of media in recent years, citizens are increasingly asking questions of institutions.
But how do you ensure a free, open and accountable media in the coming years?
This week, The Irish Independent is publishing a new series examining the role of the media in today’s world.
The series, entitled Citizen Free Press, was created by the National Citizens Council, the largest citizen-led organisation in Ireland.
It has been in the making for over two decades and will explore the issues that inform the democratic process, from the role and responsibilities of the state to media independence.
The National Citizens Congress was founded in 1998 to ensure that the voices of the people are heard, and that citizens have a say in shaping their future.
It is the only national association of citizens’ organisations.
It also provides a forum for citizens to express their views on policy and governance.
“It’s an important and complex issue, and there’s a lot of discussion on what is and is not a free and open media, but the public is entitled to a fair and accurate picture of the country, and they should be able to do that,” said National Citizens President Dr Michael McDermott.
“There’s a big push to have a citizen free media, to have people get involved in the decision-making process and be able look at all the evidence and understand what the truth is.”
The National Citizen Congress is a catalyst for that.
“The Republic of Ireland has traditionally been seen as a very private and secretive state, but it has also had a strong and influential media.
In fact, in recent decades, the press has been one of the main instruments of the State to hold its citizens in line.
In recent years the country has also become a digital society.
With the digital transformation and globalisation, citizens increasingly ask questions of media institutions.
However, the role that media institutions have in the democratic debate is under new scrutiny.
This week we look at how we can better support citizens and press freedoms in the next few years.
For more information about Citizen Free Post, contact:Claire Collins, Communications Director, National Citizens Assembly, +353 (0)4 931 8500Claire.
[email protected], www.nationalcitizens-assembly.ieRead more:Read or Share this story: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/columnists/sarah-barkley/politics/news-and-politics/republic-of-ireland-citizen-free-press-series-2014/71905935