Friday 22 September 2017

Colum Kenny: RTE should seize TV50 opportunity

Anniversary gives the broadcaster a chance to recall its achievements and open a fresh debate, writes Colum Kenny

RTE seems set to wallow in sentimentality and soft focus as it celebrates 50 years of its own TV service.

The broadcaster has announced various programmes to mark the fact that its first channel has been on air for half a century. But these programmes show little sign of vigorous self-criticism, or of serious interrogation of the station's future direction.

This is despite the fact that RTE's press release about its "TV50" celebrations begins with words used by the President of Ireland on the night that Telefis Eireann was launched, on December 31, 1961. Eamon de Valera prophetically highlighted the pervasive influence of TV, expressing his hopes that it would be "useful for the nation".

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