Wednesday 13 December 2017

Broadcasters asked to give more time to children’s referendum

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

TV and radio stations have been asked to increase the amount of time they give to information slots on the Children's Referendum amid fears about voter apathy.

Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan, the chair of the independent Referendum Commission, has written to broadcasters asking them to increase the amount of time they give to inform voters.

Ms Finlay Geoghegan said the coverage of the children's debate has so far lagged well behind previous referendums, which is causing concern "that people will not be aware and will not turn out to vote".

She was speaking at the launch of the Referendum Commission's children's campaign in Dublin this morning.

Traditionally, RTE would give over around 18 one-minute slots for the commission's independent information broadcasts, but it and other broadcasters have been asked to increase this.

It is also understood that the commission will be targeting their broadcasts at channels watched by younger people and those less likely to vote, such as satellite stations like Setanta Sports, the Discovery Channel and maybe even MTV.

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