RTE journalists condemn closure

 

Journalists at RTÉ have condemned the proposed closure of the broadcaster's London office with the loss of five jobs describing it as a “betrayal of RTÉ's public service remit”.

RTÉ’s National Union of Journalists chapel has adopted a motion opposing the closure and the matter will now be dealt with through the established industrial relations procedures.

In a statement issued following a meeting of journalistic staff, it described the manner in which the closure was announced without consultation as a “serious breach of trust”.

The announcement that RTÉ is closing its London office was made to staff by director general Noel Curran at the end of last month as part of a €25 million cost cutting programme. The announcement came as a surprise to staff.

The London bureau will close after the Olympics and the staff will be offered relocation back to Dublin or a redundancy package.

When it was first announced, RTÉ described the decision to close the London office as “part of a significant and ongoing series of cost reductions”.

The NUJ said it was now seeking an urgent meeting with RTÉ management about the proposed closure which is expected to save the station €800,000 a year.

In a statement RTÉ News said while the closure of the office is “regretted” the broadcaster “remains committed to covering British news, Anglo-Irish politics and stories from the Irish emigrant community”.

“Staff and resources from Dublin, Brussels or Belfast will be deployed as appropriate to cover news,” it added.