Naughten wants referendum broadcasting rules to be clarified

Move comes after Katherine Zappone dropped from episode of The Restaurant

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten is to ask the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to provide guidelines for broadcasters for their coverage of referendum campaigns.

The move comes in light of a decision taken not to allow Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to participate in an episode of The Restaurant on TV3.

Ms Zappone was informed the agreed show would not go ahead as it may be in the middle of next year’s referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

Her participation was agreed two months ago but the Minister was informed of the production company’s decision last week.

Ms Zappone has said she is “disappointed” by the outcome.

Meanwhile, Mr Naughton has said the matter should be considered by the BAI ahead of the referendum campaign. He confirmed he has asked the authority to provide clarity on the rules and procedures for broadcasters.

In a letter to Ms Zappone, Vision Independent Productions said it was concerned about the Minister’s potential role in the referendum, which is due to take place in May or June 2018. The company said it was worried that “events could overtake” and TV3 might have to choose not to broadcast an episode of the show.