Wednesday 20 September 2017

'I was once proud of RTE, but I'd be ashamed to be involved now'

This once-vibrant organisation is run on the principle of chat that is generally shallow, mindless, ill-researched and biased, writes Bruce Arnold

Talk isn't cheap: Gay Byrne presenting ‘The Late Late Show’ — RTE was lucky to keep this rare talent
Talk isn't cheap: Gay Byrne presenting ‘The Late Late Show’ — RTE was lucky to keep this rare talent

Bruce Arnold

I have been a regular contributor to RTE Radio and Television since the early 1960s. I made programmes about the arts, culture, politics and literature, and did interviews with people, as well as being interviewed myself, over a wide spectrum of Irish life, sharing whatever the station offered. I did it with pleasure and a degree of pride. I felt I belonged to a vibrant and proud organisation.

Half a century later I would be ashamed to take part in virtually any of the programmes broadcast, on radio or television, on the issues that once attracted me. RTE has become a moribund organisation. Generally speaking, it is floundering over what it stands for and where it should direct its energies.

I say this with great sorrow. It was once so good; it is now so frequently very disappointing. RTE contains talented people and with the right leadership could not only survive but thrive. But, at present, it is not shaping up that way at all.

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