Press Releases

RTÉ Publishes the Working Document of the Editorial Review

04 December 2012: As requested by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), RTÉ is today releasing the working document of the Editorial Review of The Frontline Presidential Debate.

Following consultations with members of the public who participated in the review on a confidential basis, RTÉ has this afternoon concluded the redaction of the document and has moved to publish at the earliest opportunity.

As previously stated, the working document of the review was not offered for publication as participants in the review took part on a confidential basis so as to ensure full and frank participation. The working document contains summaries of information gathered from individual members of the studio audience and the programme team. RTÉ was, as is the case generally in reviews of this kind, bound by obligations regarding the privacy and confidentiality of the contributors. The working document is therefore now published in redacted form.

The working document and the published Report (authored by Rob Morrison, former Head of News & Current Affairs, UTV, and Steve Carson, Director of Programmes, RTÉ Television), which were submitted to the BAI, examined the editorial processes of The Frontline programme of 24 October 2011. The independent Report was commissioned by RTÉ following the decision of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to uphold a number of complaints against the programme, and in response to concerns raised about the programme elsewhere.

RTÉ has accepted, in full, the findings of the Report and those of the BAI. RTÉ has worked over recent months to ensure the recommendations have been implemented. New personnel and new editorial structures have been put in place in RTÉ Television Current Affairs. In addition to the introduction of new Journalism Guidelines, with training sessions for over 500 staff to date, social media guidelines have also been revised. An internal Editorial Standards Board has been established to maintain and monitor content standards across RTÉ. The new General Programme Makers' Guidelines, currently being finalised through a process that began in February under Mr. Stephen Whittle, former Controller of Editorial Policy, BBC, will be published by year-end. Finally, specific recommendations in the report around the structure of live debates have been implemented on broadcast debates for both the Fiscal Treaty and Children’s referenda.

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