Broadcasting group seeks feedback on election coverage

 

THE BROADCASTING Authority of Ireland has invited feedback from the public on its draft code governing radio and television coverage in the run-up to the presidential election in October.

The new rules will update the existing broadcast code on election coverage, with a number of revisions relating specifically to presidential elections. They will also cover referendums.

The presidential election will take place on October 27th, along with two referendums. One referendum will relate to a reduction in judges’ pay and the other involves new powers for parliamentary committees to conduct investigations.

The authority’s deputy chief executive, Celene Craig, said the code contained a prohibition on broadcasters airing political advertising. “With a presidential election and referenda expected to take place on the same day in October, the requirement to set clear standards for broadcasters is particularly important and necessary,” Ms Craig said.

“Achieving fairness, objectivity and impartiality in coverage of the election and referenda is vital not only because it is legally required of broadcasters but also because radio and television audiences expect excellent standards and will rely on such coverage to inform their choices at the polling stations.”

The code states that broadcasters should ensure that all candidates are treated equitably and that the broadcast treatment is fair to all interests concerned in any allocation of uncontested broadcasting time to candidates for presidential elections.

Party political broadcasts made in support of candidates for a presidential election should be taken into account when assessing whether the totality of broadcasts is fair.

The draft code can be read on bai.ie.