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Puttnam a bit ‘wary' of chairing media review

November 24th, 2019 6:25 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

David Puttnam said that sometimes reviews can be used as ‘delay mechanisms' by governments.

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WEST Cork resident and film producer David Puttnam has said he hasn’t been contacted by anyone in government, despite a high profile call for him to chair a review into public service broadcasting.

The call came from RTÉ chairperson Moya Doherty who told radio presenter Marian Finucane last weekend that the Skibbereen resident would be the ideal choice to oversee a report into how public service media should be funded.

She was responding to the news that the State broadcaster is seeking a €60m cut in costs in order to be viable, which will include service and staff salary reductions.

But, speaking to Mary Wilson on RTÉ this week, Lord Puttnam said he would be a bit wary of such a move to head up any review as sometimes governments use such manoeuvres as ‘delay mechanisms’. ‘You have to be careful,’ he said, but added that public service broadcasting ‘has to survive’.

He also suggested an innovative approach to funding, whereby large digital media firms would contribute to a fund to ensure the future of a public service media, for the privilege of being kept informed by a trusted news source.

He said that nowadays so much broadcast success was judged by ratings, when really it should be judged by how much we trust the source.

He said he hadn’t been contacted by either Dee Forbes, the RTÉ director general who also resides in West Cork, or by Minister Richard Bruton, who has responsibility for the licence fee.

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