Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Questions (132, 133)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

132. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the measures in place to ensure that broadcasters do not undermine the validity of the compliance procedure of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51038/13]

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Terence Flanagan

Question:

133. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the podcast of a radio show that the compliance committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has upheld a complaint about should still be made available on a radio station website; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51039/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 132 and 133 together.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is the statutory independent body responsible for regulation of the broadcasting sector, which includes oversight of compliance in relation to broadcast content. The monitoring and enforcement of compliance by broadcasters with the various codes and standards established by the Authority is a matter for the Compliance Committee of the BAI, which is also independent in its functions. The Committee is charged, inter alia, with accepting complaints from the general public in relation to a range of issues relating to broadcasting content. The grounds and procedures for making complaints are set out in Section 48 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.

If a member of the public has concerns regarding on-air content subsequent to a determination of the Compliance Committee being read out by the broadcaster, and they believe that the content is in breach of the BAI’s Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality or any other codes or statutory provisions, they can make a complaint, in the first instance, to the broadcaster. If they are dissatisfied with the decision of the broadcaster, they can refer the matter to the BAI. Details relating to the complaints process are available on the BAI web-site at www.bai.ie. With regard to podcasts of radio programmes, the position is that the BAI does not have any regulatory power in respect of on-line content, including on-line content provided by broadcasters. I have asked my officials to discuss this matter further with the BAI to see, if possible, how it might be addressed.