The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has rejected several complaints about media coverage of the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
The topic was discussed on RTÉ's Prime Time, RTÉ Radio 1′s Brendan O'Connor Show and Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show.
A complainant believed that the Prime Time discussion only featured one side of the story about the Ukraine invasion.
The BAI ruled there was no evidence of the Prime Time presenter attempting to "nudge" guests into stating that NATO should become involved in the conflict. It dismissed the complaint.
Another complainant alleged Newstalk's Pat Kenny referred with contempt to "the Russians", "Russians" and "the Russian war" and did not feature the views or perspective of Russian people.
The BAI ruled that use of terms such as "the Russians" were normal collective terms in the context used.
"There was no evidence of any contempt in the presenter’s voice and the broadcast content did not support the complainant’s view that the broadcast could be described as racist," ruled the BAI
A complaint regarding The Brendan O’Connor Show raised concerns over several ''unchallenged statements'' made by panellists about Russian and Ukraine, including that the Russian language was or is banned in Ukraine, that east or central Ukraine is ethnically and linguistically Russian and that NATO or the West is responsible for the invasion of Ukraine, citing the 2008 NATO enlargement arrangements.
RTE said the broadcast featured a wide range of views on the subject and was fully compliant with all the statutory and regulatory provisions.
The BAI rejected the claim saying the ''discussion in general was managed appropriately by the presenter, who put forward suggestions and counter arguments to elicit responses from the panel and that the audience was not misled on the subject under discussion".
BAI rejects 'Liveline' complaints
The BAI also rejected four complaints made regarding the RTÉ Radio 1 programme Liveline.
The complaints were discussed and considered at a meeting held in June.
It concerned four episodes that were broadcast about business awards given by 'The Public Sector Magazine' on 3, 4, 5 and 8 Febuary this year.
The complainant, John Hogan, who owns the magazine, said the programme was not fair and facts were not presented in an objective and impartial manner.
Mr Hogan claimed that the presenter, Joe Duffy, expressed his own views "as he rang gongs like a game show host" while mocking the magazine.
The complainant was also angered by comments made by Mr Duffy that Mr Hogan claimed linked the business premises being empty to 'children’s allowance day’.
Mr Hogan said the comments were "clearly intended to cause damage to the magazine".
John Hogan also said the magazine was "irreparably damaged by the broadcasts" and the programmes caused distress and harm to its directors, employees and freelance workers.
The BAI rejected the complaint, but noted that the range of contributions, and the tone of the broadcasts were largely critical of this award scheme.
The committee said this not ''unusual in broadcasts'' where the discussion of a topic is driven by callers.
The BAI acknowledged the "repeated and concerted efforts" of producers on RTÉ's Liveline programme to contact the magazine, to respond to questions in writing and to participate in the broadcasts.
However, representatives of the magazine "declined to participate" in the broadcasts.
The BAI said it is satisfied the statutory and regulatory requirements of fairness were met in the broadcasts.
Another complaint lodged about a Liveline debate on the Official Languages Act was also rejected.
Separately, the Executive Complaints Forum of the BAI considered and rejected seven complaints in meetings held in June, July and August 2022.
The complaints were lodged by members of the public about topics discussed on the Six One News, Prime Time and Radio One programmes, as well as The Brendan O'Connor Show and Today with Claire Byrne.
Complaints were also rejected against Newstalk programmes The Pat Kenny Show and The Hard Shoulder.