Lisbon Treaty - RTE Coverage of 2008 Lisbon Debate Unbalanced

 

Press Statement – Embargo - 26th February, 2008

RTE Coverage of 2008 Lisbon Debate Unbalanced

and grossly in favour of Yes Side

 

In a 75 -  page report entitled “Falling at the Feet of Power” launched on Thursday 26th February, the Campaign Against the EU Constitution (CAEUC) – NO to Lisbon argued strongly that RTE’s coverage of the Lisbon debate in 2008 had been unbalanced in favour of the Yes side.

The report analysed RTE’s six top News and Current affairs programmes and found problems in relation to fairness and balance.. The CAEUC research revealed, for example, that 63% of the speakers who spoke on the top six RTE news and current affairs programmes were supporters of the Yes side. The report also documented  115 incidents where RTE did not comply with its own Charter to “strive to reflect fairly and equally the … political diversity of Ireland and its peoples”.

Michael Youlton, co-ordinator of  the CAEUC, said, “Since the defeat of the Lisbon Treaty the coverage that each side gets has become even more strained.  While it is clear from our detailed research that the coverage given to the NO side of the debate was unbalanced, the situation to date has not improved as there continues to be a gross imbalance in favour of a Yes vote. While we recognise that the rules applicable to referenda are not in place at the moment as no date for a second referendum has been set, we do feel that RTE should still strive for some semblance of balance on this issue.

The Programmes analysed in detail were:

  • Questions & Answers
  • Six One News
  • Nine O’Clock News
  • Drivetime
  • Morning Ireland
  • News At One

 Ends     

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Notes to Editors:  The Report will be launched by Patricia McKenna in the UNITE Offices on 55-56 Middle Abbey St on Thursday Feb. 26 at 11:00am. The meeting will be chaired by Jimy Kelly,Regional Secretary of UNITE.

The Report will be available in .pdf format after that date at www.sayno.ie   

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Further information and comment: 

Michael Youlton 086 815 9487,                   

Kieran O’Sullivan 087 61 87 680

Campaign Against the EU Constitution www.sayno.ie