Skip to main content

Mass Media

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on press monitoring in each of the last five years. (287474)

The Northern Ireland Office has an in-house media monitoring service to meet the needs of Ministers and senior officials within the Department. It also provides its media monitoring services to Ministers and officials in the devolved Administration and a number of external public sector stakeholders.

Costs for this service in each of the last five years are detailed in the following tables and broken down into both equipment and staff costs. Equipment costs are all the costs associated with press monitoring for example televisions, DVD recorders, DVD discs, tapes, radios and transcribers.

The Department recoups a percentage of its running costs by passing on a small charge to its clients.

Equipment costs

£

2004-05

14,052.15

2005-06

2,397.76

2006-07

1,682.94

2007-08

6,080.04

2008-09-

2,957.14

Staff costs

Currently there are four members of staff employed in the Media Monitoring Unit and a further five typists to transcribe media monitoring requests. Staffing numbers have fluctuated over this period. I have provided the average salary costs for each team in each of the last five years:

£

Media Monitoring Unit

Typing Pool

2004-05

70,000

69,000

2005-06

70,200

72,000

2006-07

79,000

79,000

2007-08

69,000

79,000

2008-09

62,000

82,000