Fianna Fáil TD, Éamon Ó Cuív, says an independent review needs to be carried out into the preparation, editing and balance of all current affairs programmes in RTÉ radio and television. Deputy Ó Cuív was speaking to the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Energy and Agriculture.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “In light of the recent BAI report on the Fr Kevin Reynolds affair, I believe it is now necessary for an independent review to be carried out on the general approach taken by RTÉ in relation to current affairs and to ensure that its output is of the highest standards, balanced and impartial.
“The Gallagher and Reynolds affairs have thrown up serious concerns regarding RTÉ that are far wider than the two programmes in question. I believe that a review should take place of a number of randomly selected current affairs programmes from both radio and television made during the last year.
“Issues to be examined should include inter alia choice of topics, editorial policy, method of selection of participants and panels of commentators, use of tweets, texts, etc… editing of interviews, balance and the personal interests of presenters and producers.”
Deputy Ó Cuív added that following the report, recommendations should be made in relation to the findings, whereby actions would be taken by RTÉ and the BAI to ensure balanced programmes, impartiality and high standards into the future.
“It is vitally important that the public have confidence in the public service broadcaster and this has been severely dented by recent occurrences. It is now important that this faith in the public service broadcaster is rebuilt and I believe that nothing less than an independent analysis of programme making will deliver the desired result,” he concluded.