Coimisiún na Meán awards €8.6m of funding for broadcasters and independent producers under Sound & Vision Scheme

A total of €70 million provided by Scheme in past 5 years

  • €7.9m will support the production of 65 high-quality TV and radio projects, including animation, drama, documentary, entertainment, and educational programmes, with 95% of funding for independent producers.
  • €706k will support community broadcasters in creating social benefit programming that facilitates better access to and representation of the diversity of local communities in Ireland.

Coimisiún na Meán has announced the allocation of €8.6m of funding for broadcasters and independent producers arising from two recent rounds of Sound & Vision 4, the Broadcasting Funding Scheme. The Scheme supports the production of high-quality Irish and English language programming, based on Irish culture, heritage, and experience for broadcast on national, local and community TV and radio services.

Media Development Commissioner, Rónán Ó Domhnaill said: “Sound & Vision remains a vital funding source for broadcasters and independent producers from all over Ireland and brings the total amount of funding allocated by the Scheme to over €70 million since 2020. Sound & Vision funding boosts Ireland’s creative sector, bringing to life television, radio and film content in both the Irish and English languages. I would like to thank Minister Catherine Martin for her continued support of the Scheme and all those applicants who submitted proposals, and we look forward to seeing the programmes hit our screens and airwaves.

“This latest allocation of €8.6 million will enable independent producers and broadcasters to create engaging and thought-provoking content that resonates with audiences across Ireland. The programming produced will celebrate our cultural and linguistic heritage, amplify voices from marginalized communities, and explore underrepresented perspectives.”

Round 51

A total of 165 applications seeking over €18.8m in funding were submitted for consideration under Round 51 of the Sound & Vision 4 scheme, with just over €7.9m in funding awarded. This Round includes additional exchequer funding secured by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, Catherine Martin TD.

Round 51 will support the production of 65 TV and radio projects for audiences around the country, with €6.7m allocated to 27 TV projects, and over €1.1m for 38 radio productions. This Round focused on programming about gender equality, diversity, and inclusion of new Irish communities and voices.

Nearly 35% of the recommended funding (€2.7m) will support the production of Irish/bilingual projects, and 95% of the funding (€7.4m) goes directly to the independent production sector.

Some notable projects funded in Round 51 include:

  • An Irish Atlantic Rainforest: This two-part documentary production by Gambit Pictures for RTÉ One, will follow a year in the life of Ireland’s most pristine temperate rainforest which has been created by Eoghan Daltun, in the face of a global environmental crisis and biodiversity loss.
  • This is a Quiet Love/An Grá Ciúin: Produced by Curious North for TG4, this bilingual feature-length documentary will find four deaf couples sign the stories of how they met and fell in love. These cinematic love letters will weave a tapestry of deaf experience over a 70-year period.
  • Irish Music Month: A radio production for Hot Press, operated by the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) which showcases and celebrates the best of new and upcoming musical talent, will be broadcast on 21 local commercial radio stations around Ireland.
  • Echo Eco: This series of hour-long programmes by Newstalk will explore climate change and environmental issues and will be hosted by renowned environmental scientist Dr Tara Shine.
  • Blúiríní Osnádúrtha: An Irish-language radio production for Raidió na Life which will see volunteers research and record Irish ghost stories from Dublin and beyond.
  • Alternatyva Alternayvai: A television production for Dublin Community Television which will follow an opera production while celebrating Lithuanian culture.
  • Video Nasty: Produced by Deadpan Pictures, this comedy-drama tells the story of three teenagers who go on an epic quest to complete a cult VHS collection and will be broadcast on Virgin Media Television. 
  • Adam Loves Adventure: This comedy-themed quest show for pre-schoolers is set in space and stars real-life hero Adam King, a problem-solving space explorer whose prime directive is to use his big heart and space smarts to help aliens with their everyday problems. Produced by Kavaleer for broadcast on RTÉjnr. 
  • Grá ar an Trá: Produced by Macalla Teoranta, entertainment series Grá ar an Trá returns for a second season on Virgin Media Television.
  • Am Abú: A new innovative Irish language programme produced by Wonder Pics for kids. The historical drama series for TG4 will look to encourage media literacy and be the first production to use an Unreal Engine Virtual Reality workflow.

Round 52

Round 52 of the Sound & Vision 4 Scheme was a tailored Social Benefit Round and was informed by the Community Media Policy and Social Benefit Framework launched in 2021.The funding under this non-competitive round was allocated to community broadcasters who adequately demonstrated how they would better facilitate access to and representation of their respective communities and help increase the range of community participation in the production and distribution of broadcast content. The funding round also had a particular focus on community broadcasters providing programming and quality training and development opportunities for station staff and volunteers.

The funding will support a range of activities across 19 stations, including the following activities:

  • Ros FM will build on training previously funded by Sound & Vision and offer QQI level 4 training to approximately 20 volunteers.
  • Athlone Community Radio will deliver QQI level 3 & 4 training to staff, volunteers, and community groups.
  • Community Radio Youghal will use funding to undertake increased engagement with their local community service, St Raphael’s, a local facility for adults with disabilities.
  • Funding forCommunity Radio Castlebar will be used to further develop their engagement with Spéire Nua, a group that works with ex-offenders and the Involve Youth Project which works with Traveller youth.
  • Funding will be used by Flirt FM to continue its successful ‘Community Takeover’ initiative, which has opened the airwaves to a range of community groups such as Foróige and Galway Autism Partnership by allowing them to produce and host their own programmes.

This is the fourth Social Benefit Round operated by the Scheme and brings the total amount of funding offered directly to Community broadcasters through the Social Benefit Rounds to €2.5m.

A list of successful applications is available here (Round 51) and here (Round 52).

Sound & Vision Broadcasting Funding Scheme Round 53 Open

Coimisiún na Meán has opened Round 53 of the Sound & Vision Broadcasting Funding Scheme today (09.04.2024). An Coimisiún welcomes funding applications from broadcasters and independent producers to support the production of culturally valuable broadcast content, including content in the Irish language. 

Round 53 will have an additional objective to encourage projects that support the production of content targeted at or co-created by children and young people.

Prospective applicants can access the relevant Guides and Forms for Round 53 via the links below.  All applications must be submitted via www.cnamonline.ie.

Television Application Documentation

Radio Application Documentation

The Round will close at 12 noon sharp on 30 May 2024. An indicative budget of €7.4m is available under this Round.

An Coimisiún will run separate Radio and TV Zoom webinars for prospective applicants.

  • Please register here to attend the applicant webinar at 11am on the 16th of April 2024.

Two journalism schemes worth €5 million open for consultation

Local Democracy and Court Reporting Schemes will support both the media sector and high-quality journalism in all counties in Ireland

Coimisiún na Meán is seeking the public’s views on two new journalism schemes which aim to supplement and increase coverage of local authorities and district court hearings. The schemes are being established to ensure that all people have access to news in their own areas and that the news they receive is trustworthy and accurate.  

The Schemes are based on recommendations from the Report of the Future of Media Commission and are being established on an administrative basis thanks to funding secured by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin TD.

The new journalism schemes will be open to applications from journalists and media outlets, including broadcast, print and online platforms, in both the Irish and English languages. Coimisiún na Meán will ensure that all content funded under the Schemes is available in both Irish and English on an online portal, where the content will also be archived. 

Commenting on the launch of the consultation on the proposed schemes, Media Development Commissioner at Coimisiún na Meán, Rónán Ó Domhnaill said: “The €5 million available under these Schemes will ensure that local media can continue to perform its vital role in reporting on matters of public interest and improving access to trusted, quality information. They will support the creation of high-quality public interest journalism in both Irish and English, strengthening plurality, supporting the resilience of the news media sectors and enabling free and open debate on matters of public interest and importance as well as participation in democratic society by informed citizens. I would like to thank Minister Catherine Martin for her support for these Schemes.”

Coimisiún na Meán is now inviting views on the proposed approach to both Schemes as part of a public consultation process. Information on the consultation processes can be found here:

Coimisiún na Meán will finalise and launch the Schemes after the consultation.

Coimisiún na Meán allocates almost €800k in funding to support a range of media activities

50 projects supported under Sectoral Learning and Development Programme and Sponsorship Scheme

A creative media programme focusing on young people from under-represented, low income and ethnic minorities (Gorm Media’s Wideshot programme) and a talent development network addressing the lack of gender diversity in the Irish screen industry (X-Pollinator) are among the projects to be funded under Coimisiún na Meán’s Sectoral Learning and Development Programme and Sponsorship Scheme.

Both funding programmes support organisations, networks and representative groups to deliver a range of initiatives, training programmes, events and activities across the media sector. In all, almost €800k has been awarded to 50 projects this year.

Some €550k has been allocated under the Sectoral Learning and Development Programme to enhance media sustainability, creativity and diversity. Nineteen networks, representing commercial and community media; industry specific groups such as producers, animators, and journalists; advocacy organisations for gender, equality and inclusion, and promotion of the Irish language, have secured funding.

The Learning Waves Journalism Graduate Programme will continue to be supported under the Sectoral Learning and Development Programme in 2024. This programme sees 10 journalism graduates from across Ireland awarded an internship in a local commercial radio station. A focus of the 2024 programme will be news content for multiple platforms, scriptwriting for news, court reporting, and the promotion and creating of Irish language content.

Separately, more than €245k in funding has been awarded to 30 applicants under Coimisiún na Meán’s Sponsorship Scheme. This supports media-related events and activities that align with and raise awareness of the role and work of An Coimisiún. Sponsored events include festivals that increase the prominence of culturally relevant audiovisual content for Irish audiences, and award ceremonies highlighting the diverse talent and creativity across the media sector.  Sponsored events focusing on other aspects of Coimisiún na Meán’s remit include a media literacy workshop, the Mental Health Media Awards, and a Children & Young People’s Assembly on Online Bullying.

Commenting, Media Development Commissioner Rónán Ó Domhnaill said: “Coimisiún na Meán is delighted to be in a position to invest more than three-quarters of a million euro in supporting Irish media through the Sectoral Learning and Development Programme and Sponsorship Scheme this year.

The funded projects align with our aim to develop a thriving, diverse and safe media landscape. These are hugely valuable projects that work to enrich our media sphere for viewers and listeners “

Commenting on its funding allocation, Learning Waves Project Manager Teresa Hanratty said: “We are thrilled to have secured funding again this year for our Journalism Graduate Programme. An Coimisiún’s funding and development programmes are of huge importance to the media sector and our award this year enables us to continue our internship programme, providing a pathway for new journalists to gain invaluable experience and also a pipeline of new talent for the independent radio sector. The impact of the programme was recognised by the Institute of Learning and Development at Learning and Development Awards in September 2023 when it was awarded Best Graduate Development Initiative. This award underlines the significant impact this programme has on graduates and stations across the Independent Radio Sector in Ireland.” The full list of successful funding recipients for 2024 under the Coimisiún na Meán Sectoral Learning and Development Programme and Sponsorship Scheme can be found here.