image of Platforms, people and politics: The challenges for public service media in Ireland


This article assesses the viability of RTÉ, Ireland’s main public service media (PSM) organization, as an institution and media organization against the backdrop of the largest challenges affecting PSM today. It questions the extent (1) the presence of global platforms, (2) shifting media use and (3) (continued) government support have affected the programming, structure and legitimacy of the Irish public broadcaster. The analytical framework that serves as the basis for our analysis combines a media policy and political economy approach with cultural-sociological analysis. Using expert interviews and document analysis, we show that many of the challenges of RTÉ are generalizable in a European context and a wider international context. We argue that while the government may not be directly undermining RTÉ, its funding position may become so eroded that it would no longer be able to deliver what one of our interviewees describes as a ‘BBC-sized mission in a small jurisdiction’.


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