Establishment media lobbied government in an attempt to force employers to advertise certain job vacancies in newspapers.
NewsBrands Ireland CEO Anne Marie Lenihan told the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment that this advertising – required for by the state – was “currently quite a significant source of advertising revenue” for some of the publishers represented by NewsBrands.
The organisation, which represents more than 40 media outlets in Ireland, wrote to the department earlier this year outlining its “concerns” that reforms to employment legislation would result in its members losing advertising revenue.
‘Some of our members are concerned’
Ann Marie Lenihan contacted the Department of Enterprise on 28 February this year in relation to the Employment Permits Bill 2022, which includes changes to the law on Irish work permits.
Employers who wish to fill vacancies that require certain permits must first offer the position to an Irish, European Economic Area or Swiss citizen.
The law currently states that these jobs must be advertised in a national newspaper for three days.
Under the new bill, which is currently before the committee stage in Dáil Éireann, the requirement to advertise in a national newspaper will be relaxed.
In Lenihan’s email to the department she wrote that members of the Newsbrand stable were anxious about losing a source of income that had, to date, been required by the state.
“Some of our members are concerned that the bill is proposing to remove the requirement that certain vacancies have to be advertised in a national newspaper for three days,” wrote Lenihan, in an email sent to the Department of Enterprise.
“Obviously this is currently quite a significant source of advertising revenue for some publishers. Is there clarity around the platforms that will be prescribed in regulations?”
The department responded a few days later, informing her that employers would no longer be required to advertise the positions in hardcopy newspapers. Instead they must be advertised on jobsireland.ie and one other website.
The newspaper market is projected to fall from its 2022 valuation of €379 million to €288 million by 2027, according to a recent PwC report. A YouTube video showcasing the “power” of NewsBrands Ireland as an advertising platform posted earlier this month currently has six views.
NewsBrands Ireland has been contacted for comment.