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RTÉ News boss apologises for broadcaster not linking recent extreme weather events to climate change

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Sun worshippers enjoying the heatwave at Clonea Strand, Dungarvan, County Waterford PIC Tony Gavin

Sun worshippers enjoying the heatwave at Clonea Strand, Dungarvan, County Waterford PIC Tony Gavin

Managing director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Jon Williams

Managing director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Jon Williams

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Sun worshippers enjoying the heatwave at Clonea Strand, Dungarvan, County Waterford PIC Tony Gavin

The managing director of RTÉ News has apologised that the national broadcaster did not link the recent extreme weather to climate change.

Following criticism over the lack of coverage on the climate crisis as Ireland basked in a rare heatwave where temperatures reached 30C, Jon Williams took to Twitter this evening to apologise.

“We were wrong not to make clear connection between recent extreme weather events & climate change,” he wrote.

"Sin of omission & reported in good faith. But truth matters. So when we get it wrong, we should say so. Lesson learned. Work to do.”

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Managing director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Jon Williams

Managing director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Jon Williams

Managing director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Jon Williams

Mr Williams wrote an article detailing how RTÉ has and will be covering climate change and said every journalist on the news team will be taking part in a workshop looking at climate science and the reporting of it.

He also said that RTÉ News will be creating a team dedicated to reporting the climate crisis.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Williams said many topics have been put on the back burner, including climate change.

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"Pre-pandemic, RTÉ's financial challenges meant one correspondent covered both science and environment,” he wrote.

"Since March 2020, our science correspondent has been exclusively assigned to covering the Covid crisis.

"However, as Ireland emerges from the pandemic, we will double down on our coverage of climate issues.”

He added that as a public service broadcaster, RTÉ News “has a responsibility to lead the conversation about the climate crisis, and the impact it is having”.


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