Mr Rabbitte said the legislation would make it clear that the public interest would have a higher priority with respect to mergers in the media than in other areas of business.“Diversity of content and diversity of ownership is more important in the media than in other enterprises because it has an impact on the quality of our democracy. I am confident that the Bill will have regard to these principles,” said Mr Rabbitte.He said aspects of the legislation relating to the media would rely heavily on the principles contained in the report of the advisory group on media mergers, which was presented to the former government in 2009.The chairman of this group was senior counsel Paul Sreenan and its recommendations have become known as the “Sreenan principles”. One of those principles is that there should be a statutory definition of media plurality, which would deal with the issues of ownership and content. A statutory test to be applied by the Minister in relation to media mergers will be included in the Bill.Another of the Sreenan principles was that there should be an ongoing collection and publication of information on media plurality as well as a system of notification of media mergers to the Minister for clearance.


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