RTE is decrepit, the Irish print media have long become nonsensical bilge for packaging advertising - and the recent farce over the fee-for-link issue show that they operate on a defunct business model which cannot continue in the modern world.
But there is a great need for true journalism in this country.
The traditional model for a 'free press' actually just means an advertiser controlled font of misinformation and spin. Everywhere in the world this model is in decay.
There are some fine examples of true journalism in the online sphere. But they are underfunded and have no steady revenue source.
I suggest that part of the license fee (some of that small fraction left after Pat Kenny is kept from retirement) should be put into a fund to support true investigative journalism. Call it a 'Journalist Laureate' position.
Each year, the fund would award one journalist a paid three year position (so up to 3 would work concurrently). The award would be made to the person who showed the most outstanding contribution to investigative journalism in Ireland during the previous year. The Journalist Laureate would have the same protection from libel laws as a TD speaking in the Dail - but could be sacked for gross misconduct. Their output could be carried and reproduced copyright free. The aim would be to create a true 'fourth estate', independent from the government, the courts, or any other privileged group.