“No ‘Ministry of Truth’ please, Minister”
Independent Senator Rónán Mullen today called on the Minister for Culture and Media, Catherine Martin, to ensure full transparency on all the operations of the newly appointed Working Group on Media misinformation.
Speaking in the Seanad this morning, Senator Mullen warned against the Government and media vested interests undermining “the valuable work of citizen journalists”.
“The last thing Ireland needs is a new ‘Ministry of Truth’, Senator Mullen says.
“This must be about enabling free citizens to think and express free thoughts.”
Senator Mullen also noted “the steady misinformation produced by some mainstream media in recent years, in support of particular narratives.”
He criticised the inconsistency of ‘fact checkers’ who on occasions were ‘notoriously partisan’ on contentious issues.
Senator Mullen said he supported the idea of the Working “roup but there were dangers if it was not transparent. “I like the apple pie but I’d be worried by the poison it might contain.”
“One reason why people have turned away from mainstream media is the recent ongoing attempt to control what people hear. Our capital city is full of social media giants with vested interests and deep pockets, influencing every angle of public policy. To counteract this threat, we need the Working Group to be fully transparent.”
‘I am asking the Working Group … that every submission they consider be done in public; that all contributions from big tech, mainstream media, political parties and government are publicly accessible as soon as these are made; that all the discussions of the Group take place in public; that all contributions from big tech, mainstream media, political parties and government are publicly accessible as soon as these are made; that all their discussions take place in public.”
“We need a high degree of openness, because we are potentially talking about limitations on freedom of expression, one of democracy’s foundation stones.”
“Whenever ideas and views are suppressed, distrust and alienation follow. It is when the window of discussion is too narrow, rather than too wide, that politics fails and conspiracies abound.”
For more information contact Senator Rónán Mullen on 087 2446911 or 01 6183930.