Platforms, people and politics: the challenges for Public Service Media in Ireland

Tim Raats, Karen Donders, Phil Ramsey

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This article assesses the viability of RTÉ, Ireland’s main public service media organisation, as an institution and media organisation against the backdrop of the largest challenges affecting PSM today. It questions the extent (i) the presence of global platforms, (ii) shifting media use and (iii) (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 generalisable in a European context and a wider international context. We argue that while 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’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Digital Media & Policy
Early online date27 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 27 Oct 2022


  • Public service media
  • Public service broadcasting
  • Media policy
  • Broadcasting in Ireland
  • RTÉ
  • Sociology of broadcasting


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