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.

MOJO Final Project Proposal

Photo credit:

Domestic Violence against men

  • This video is going to be human interest related.
  • The story is going to be majorly centered on domestic violence against men in the society. The main characters and interviewees are going to be mostly males, one or two women will also be asked questions like what they think about domestic violence against men? And so on. But generally, this story/interview is generally going to be about men.
  • This video is going to be a formal interview. It would be conducted as a face-to face interview with the victims of Domestic abuse. There would also be a Vox pop where questions based on Domestic abuse against men will be asked. The story is essentially going to be based on men telling their experiences of Domestic abuse whether physical or verbal.
  • Four shots will be used in the production of this video. The close-up shot, extreme close-up shot, reverse over shoulder shot and medium close-up shot will be used to produce this story.
  • The genre of the video piece is going to be in form of a documentary where the victims tell their stories and experiences of Domestic violence.
  • I have reached out to Anyman Ireland support service for men who are facing domestic violence. Anyman is an organisation which handles domestic violence against men in Ireland. I have also met with some few male friends who mentioned they have suffered Domestic violence from ladies in the past and most of these guys are willing to tell their story.

11-Year-Old from Co. Mayo Awarded Netwatch Young Carer Of the Year

The National Carer of the year 2019 awards which took place on Friday, November [22nd] in a special ceremony in The Westin Hotel, has awarded an 11-year old girl from Co. Mayo Young Carer of the year. The awards were presented by broadcasters and patrons of Family Carers Ireland, Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy.

“I will hold Connor’s hands during short walks around the neighborhood to prevent him from running off because he doesn’t understand danger”.

Hailey who helps to care for her three brothers with special needs has learned Lamh, picture exchange communication, how to feed, dress and make use of the speech devices for her brothers. Hailey while receiving her award said, “I will hold Connor’s hands during short walks around the neighborhood to prevent him from running off because he doesn’t understand danger”.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Cathereine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement said “ The Family Carers are ordinary people doing very extra ordinary works no one should have to care alone and I think that should be the message to take home today the value Carers bring to our society in monetary terms alone you say 10billion euro every year but as the saying goes somethings are simply priceless”.

Marcin Filak from Co. Meath who is originally from Poland but moved to Ireland in 2016 was awarded the most inspirational Carer and the overall Netwatch Carer of the year. He cares for his wife Ola who suffered from stroke three weeks after the birth of their daughter and was later diagnosed with the locked-in syndrome and their two children, the eldest [aged 13] who has autism.

Ola’s condition simply implies that she is aware of her immediate environment but cannot move or speak, she only communicates though eye movements.

l-r; Marty Whelan, Mary Kennedy, Marcin Filak and wife.

Others awarded for young Carer of the year include; Mathew McCartin (17) from Wexford who has been caring for his Father since he was five years old. His father now has advanced Parkinson’s Disease with dementia and is wheelchair bound.

lily Power (19) from Co. Cork who has been caring for her mum who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease from a very young age.

Anie Grant (20) from Co. Donegal cares for her mother Nuala who was diagnosed with early onset dementia two years ago.

L-R; Mathew McCartin, Lily Power, Hailey Golden and Aine Grant

In addition, twenty-seven family care givers (21 men, 6 women) from across the different counties in Ireland were also recognized for their extra ordinary work, dedication, care, commitment and contribution in their care giving roles.

The Netwatch Carers award event is held yearly and serves as a medium to recognize Family care givers who take it upon themselves to take care of their family members and loved ones.

This event seeks to recognize the caregivers from every county in Ireland and pick one from every county to represent the other care givers in their county present them with awards for their extra ordinary endeavors.