The different approaches to press regulation in the USA, Britain and Ireland

This essay details the different approaches to press regulation between USA, Britain, and Ireland along the lines of the different period in which press regulation took place, regulation bodies, principles, and control-ability.

Freedom of Speech, as a starting point of press regulation, will therefore always be one of the main topics regarding press regulation. Currently, Ireland is on place 15 (from total 180) of the World Press Freedom Index of 2019, the United Kingdom is on place 33 and the United States are on place 48 (RSF, 2019a). The ranking shows how the countries deal with those seven indicators: Pluralism (degree of opinion representation), media independence, environment and self-censorship (operation environment of the media), legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.


Britain has long established its press councils whereas the press council for Ireland is comparatively new. The USA is yet to set up a press council. There aren’t any active press councils in united states. Countries might not have press councils thanks to the politics, economics, legalization or within the culture of the country. Within the USA it’s mainly owing to the prevailing law system that they have, that handles a lot around media/press regulation. Some countries have ombudsmen, that are (mostly senior journalist/media) people that handle complains and recommends remedies. Since 1967 ombudsmen exist within the United States yet, when is compared to e.g. Japan (1922) is relatively late (ONO, 2018).


The main differences in the written principles are (1) where they are embedded, (2) range of validity, (3) number of principles, (4) content of the principles. In the USA they are embedded in the law system, unlike the principles in Britain and Ireland (UNESCO, 2014; Lewis, 2017). In the USA the principles have an absolutism status (Lewis, 2017), in Britain exist exceptions if the principles will be in huge confrontation with the public interest (the public interest outrank the principles). There is scarce information with respect to this for the Irish Principles. The number and the content of the principles differ extremely between the USA and Britain/Ireland. Britain is more precise in their principles (more separations between the principles) in comparison to Ireland. An example is that Britain has a special antidiscrimination principle:

  “The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or to any physical or mental illness or disability. Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless these are genuinely relevant to the story.” (IPSO, 2018)

As distinguished from USA and Britain, Ireland has one extra principle regarding the press regulation of the regulatory authority and complain body of the country. Another interesting point is that because the freedom of speech is embedded in the law in the USA, they can’t forbid also negative outcomes of freedom of speech, like hate speech (Lewis, 2017). With a closer look to online media/social press regulation in those three countries, we can see a hugely different approach between USA and EU (Britain, Ireland). The USA decided to not regulate or tax it (Lewis, 2017), but it exists a copyright clause: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, since 1998 (UNESCO, 2014). This Act supported the fundamentally no-restriction attitude because it enables the USA to restrain publications. Lewis (2017) opinion is that the pressure mainly comes from the Silicon Valley and all the big firms there: “Silicon Valley executives hate regulation and will move to block it”. As a result, the frustration level in the EU is high, which wants to regulate them. Their latest statement was: “regulate yourselves (and not just a charade), or we will regulate you” (Lewis, 2017). In Europe, the E-Commerce Directive handle internet intermediaries so far (UNESCO, 2014).


The market is through ownership concentration controlled in all three countries. Differences occur in the different ways of content control. The US, Britain, and Ireland have a high to very high concentration of media plurality and ownership even though all of them have some restrictions on this issue. It is an ongoing concern.

Britain and Ireland are one of the main regulated countries of western Europe. In general counts everything above 30% of the market share that is owned by one person as excessive. In Europe, the main national and regional newspapers are typically divided between less than a half dozen owners. In the United States, there are more groups, but a small number have a very dominant position in the large city and regional press. McQuail (2010). In the USA Bertelsmann counts as the most suspicious case regarding ownership concentration. He owns over 30 radio stations, 280 publishing outlets, and 15 record companies (University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2010). In Britain 60-70% of the market is controlled by three companies, mainly newspaper publisher (RSF, 2019b), one of the famous person is Rupert Murdoch, who owns The Sun, News of the World, Daily Mirror (Brady, 2018), Times, Sunday Times, Sky Television, BSkyB and eventually more. In Ireland most is owned by Independent News and Media (INM) and RTE (Freedom House, 2016).

As an example, the FCC of the USA have the restriction that one person can (only) own one of the top-four local television stations but many undermine this restriction through Merger and Acquisitions or Joint Ventures (Freedom House, 2017a). In Britain exist the regulation that broadcaster can (only) own a limited amount of newspaper interest. This doesn’t include interest in satellite broadcasters (McQuail, 2010). In Ireland, one of the restrictions is that it is not allowed to own one of the fourth biggest radio and TV firms if you already own one of the biggest newspapers (Smyth, 2018). Media control is in each of the European countries/ states different. Each state of the EU has different rules under the umbrella of the EU rules. In the EU you don’t sell your product once, you sell it per country, e.g. once for Germany and once for Ireland (Smyth, 2018). In the USA in all the states the same, you sell your product (e.g. a movie) license only once to the country.


Alomo Bitters at 20

Photo credit: @Alomobase

Alomo Bitters is a herbal based alcoholic drink produced in Ghana by Kasapreko Company Limited. It is popular not only in Ghana but also in Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast South Africa and Burkina Faso.

With sales growth of 56 per cent in two years since the launch of the herbal drink in Nigeria back then in 2010.

Mr. John Adesoye, Nigerian Sales Representative in the Kasapreko Company Limited Annual Report reported that 558,0000 Alomo Bitter cartons were sold in 2018 in Nigeria alone, that’s 13,920,000 bottles (14 million bottles). Who are the consumers…As of last year 2019 Alomo Bitters had entered the US market.

Photo credit: @Alomobase – Alomo Bitters, Alomo Silver, Alomo Gold, Alomo Black

Since ancient times herbs have been used to maintain good health. Alomo Bitters is a blend of herbal extracts from carefully selected tropical plant extracts based on a secret family recipe, developed scientifically to ensure that your body absorbs the herbs in the manner intended by nature. They come in four different variants now Alomo Silver with the a minty taste, Alomo Gold with a fruity taste and Alomo Black with a hazelwood taste. Enjoy it straight, on the rocks or with your favorite mixer and now in cocktails. Below are some cocktail mixes you can try. Drink responsibly!

Photo credit: @Alomo.usa
Photo credit: @Alomo.usa

Mary McAleese becomes second Female Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin By Ufuoma Ughakpoteni

Caption: McAleese putting on the Chancellors robe with the help of Trinity College Provost Patrick Prendergast

Former president Professor Mary McAleese was officially inaugurated as Chancellor of Trinity College on Friday [12th] December 2019 as the second female Chancellor of the College.
The event commenced with a formal introduction of Professor McAleese by the Provost of the college Patrick Prendergast, before she was officially inaugurated as the Chancellor of the University.
Speaking at the ceremony in the provost’s house, Provost Prendergast said, “Trinity is honored and very lucky to have her as the head of the university. Trinity has a mission and a positivity plan to fearlessly engage in actions that advance the cores of a pluralistic, just and sustainable society. Chancellor McAleese embodies this mission indeed pluralism, justice and of course fearless are exactly the adjectives that comes to mind in connection with her”.
Caption: McAleese putting on the Chancellors robe with the help of Trinity College Provost Patrick Prendergast

McAleese who said the declaration of her commencement in Latin, a Trinity tradition and put on the chancellor robe before addressing her audience said,

“This university is something very special and unique and with God in the years that fly ahead I will honor the trust and the faith that you have placed in me and in those that elected me in this position, that definitely is my

intention”. She said

The new Chancellor in her speech thanked the Provost, members of the university community and friends for the honor of becoming the chancellor of
the doyen of Irish University. She said “it is a source of great pride to the Irish people that we have this jewel in the academic prime here in the heart of the capital city and have had it for so many years, so I feel particularly proud as someone who walked through the door for the first time in 1975 to attend the interview for the Reid professorship… I remember coming through that door feeling a sense of awe and wonder”.
She also went further to praise the University for the opportunities she gave her gave her to perform in a national stage and an international stage, the life and confidence it gave her, her child and so many students to face the world knowing they were well equipped and better equipped than many.

“I think it is thanks to Jonathan that women have been given the opportunity to shine, to make their mark in the world and to contribute among men today, to perform well among and three Trinity women who were the first through the door who were the first barristers to practice not just in Ireland but through the world… they made headlines all over the world”. She said…

Professor McAleese has a long-standing history with Trinity College, being an Alumnus of the prestigious college, having held the position of Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology from 1975 to 1987 and been involved in the numerous events and initiatives held by the university in subsequent years.
She is a native of Northern Ireland (Belfast), a Journalist, holds an honors degree in law, has written several important books and became the first pro-vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast in 1994.
Her position as chancellor of Trinity College will involve overseeing important ceremonies such as commencement ceremonies when various degrees in Trinity College are awarded, as well as deciding who is awarded honorary Degrees.
McAleese replaces Mary Robinson, who is also the former president and was elected as the first woman chancellor in 1998.
“Trinity is honored and very lucky to have her as the head of the university. Trinity has a mission and a positivity plan to fearlessly engage in actions that advance the cores of a pluralistic, just and sustainable society. Chancellor McAleese embodies this mission indeed pluralism, justice and of course fearless are exactly the adjectives that comes to mind in connection with her”.

L-R: Professor Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson