RTÉ Audience Council invites public views

Paula Kerger, head of US broadcaster PBS, will address free lecture in UCD on Monday

The RTÉ Audience Council will invite members of the public next Monday to give their "views on what the future of public sector broadcasting in Ireland should be" in a free public lecture and panel discussion.

The event, which takes place in University College Dublin, will feature a keynote address by Paula Kerger, president and chief executive of US public media organisation PBS, with press ombudsman John Horgan overseeing the questions and answers.

"It is the first event of the audience council so we're not quite sure what to expect," says Pauric Dempsey, who chairs the 15-member council and is head of communications and public affars in the Royal Irish Academy. "We hope that we can hear as many views as possible and relate those to the management of RTÉ."

The council, which was set up in 2003 to provide a voice for viewers and listeners in relation to RTÉ's delivery of its public service remit, was put on a statutory footing in 2009, and the current members will serve (in a voluntary capacity) until the end of 2014.

Two areas that have been the subject of the council’s private meetings in recent months have been access issues (such as subtitling services) and the representation of migrants in RTÉ’s output. According to Dempsey, who has previously produced and presented science programmes on RTÉ Radio, “normalising difference” should be a key element of the broadcaster’s public service ambitions.


Tickets for the event – which is titled Public Service Broadcasting: Innovating for the Needs of Tomorrow’s Audiences – can be obtained by emailing audiencecouncil@rte.ie before close of business tomorrow.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics