RTÉ Board Chairperson Moya Doherty has acknowledged that the broadcaster made serious editorial mistakes a number of years ago, but said any notion of political bias in its output made little sense.
Representatives from RTÉ appeared before the Oireachtas Transport and Communications Committee to discuss governance and the policies and procedures in place to prevent political bias in programming and reporting.
Ms Doherty said the RTÉ Board does not involve itself in day-to-day editorial decision making.
She said the notion that RTÉ could or would perpetuate political bias in its output "makes little sense" because it would "fundamentally undermine the public trust in everything RTÉ does".
She told the committee that a survey last year suggested 87% of Irish adults indicated that they trusted RTÉ's news and current affairs output.
She also acknowledged that when "RTÉ made serious editorial mistakes a number of years ago that it was an issue of such concern both inside and outside RTÉ ... leading to a thorough review of all RTÉ's editorial processes".
Deputy Director General Kevin Bakhurst told the committee that there was no one single editorial decision when it came to RTÉ content, but "in terms of news, the story selection has a variety of editorial inputs from a range of different teams throughout the day".
He said that RTÉ produces over 45 hours of live news and current affairs programming across its radio and TV schedules, within which programme teams and editors make thousands of editorial calls and judgments.
He said: "In such a dynamic news and current affairs environment inevitably we don't get everything right.
"For the most part we try to quickly correct mistakes either in the programme in question or soon after in another programme."
Committee chairman John O'Mahony said while it is obvious from RTÉ’s current affairs output that presenters are conscious of balance, the guard is not up as much and the balance is not as much present in light entertainment programmes where politicians are interviewed.
Mr Bakhurst said RTÉ keeps track over time of the range of people on these programmes to make sure there is a fair range of views across the political spectrum and that has become more formalised in recent years.
Fianna Fáil Senator Paschal Mooney asked what the criteria is for covering Dáil proceedings on the Nine News.
He said that things have changed since the "two and a half party system".
Mr Mooney questioned why Micheál Martin is not always referred to as the leader of the Opposition.
Labour Senator John Whelan said you would want to be an insomniac, a political anorak or a glutton for punishment to stay up to 1am to watch Oireachtas Report.
He queried the scheduling of the programme.
Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley questioned the Claire Byrne Show's lack of use of FIanna Fáil guests in the early weeks of the programme.
He said that some of the weekend magazine programmes are not balanced and said more needs to be done to correct this balance, particularly in the run-up to the election.