Broadcasting Authority of Ireland dismisses over 30 grievances

RTÉ and Newstalk among those complained of concerning same-sex marriage coverage

Another complaint, which was rejected, related to a Newstalk interview with Labour Party TD Dominic Hannigan on the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: The Irish Times

Another complaint, which was rejected, related to a Newstalk interview with Labour Party TD Dominic Hannigan on the same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has rejected 31 complaints in its latest round of decisions.

RTÉ and Newstalk were among the media outlets complained about regarding their coverage of the same-sex marriage referendum held in May.

The Compliance Committee of the BAI considered eight complaints at its meeting held in July 2015,

In addition, 24 complaints were considered and rejected by the Executive Complaints Forum at meetings in June, July and August.

All 10 complaints on the issue examined between June and September were rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

One complainant said Newstalk presenter Chris Donoghue was “rude”, “overly hostile” and came across more as a campaigner than presenter.

Newstalk argued Mr Quinn was a No voter and that Mr Donoghue had to provide balance, transparency and accountability over the 28-minute segment.

Another complaint for the same interview said “the programme presenter came across more as a campaigner than an impartial interviewer and he was rude and overly hostile to Mr Quinn and took an approach that entirely suited the Yes side of the referendum debate”.

The BAI said the interview was “particularly robust” but it did not result in unfairness.

Influence

Another complaint, which was rejected, related to a Newstalk interview with Labour Party TD Dominic Hannigan on the same-sex marriage referendum.

The complaint said a vox pop on the issue before Mr Hannigan’s interview, was of people who expressed a variety of views about the influence of the issue of children in the referendum.

It said Mr Hannigan had already represented the Yes side of the referendum in several high profile national radio debates – and that the wording for the referendum had been announced by the Government on the same week.

One complainant took issue with Newstalk’s Pat Kenny mentioning an upcoming interview with Fianna Fáil politician Pat Carey.

The complainant said the interview was an “unchallenged advocacy for a Yes vote”.

RTÉ’s The Week in Politics held a televised debate on the referendum on April 12th.

The complainant took issue with the fact that there was a “personal story” from the perspective of a family “on the Yes side” but none from those on the No side.

The complainant also questioned how the presenter treated Senator Rónán Mullen, claiming her interviewing techniques were more intense with him.