Sunday 21 January 2018

Eilis O'Hanlon: This fiasco is the result of RTE's smug, self-serving narcissism

It is shocking to see the detail of how the most basic practices of journalism were so casually cast aside, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

Lawyers are the bane of a journalist's life. Sometimes it seems as if their only function is to stop us saying what we really want to say. They even quibble over commas.

Theirs may be one of the most important jobs in journalism -- saving us all from making fools of ourselves and paupering the organs for which we work -- but oh, the frustration.

In that respect, the most alarming finding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) report into the defaming of Fr Kevin Reynolds, published on Friday, has to be that the RTE legal department only became involved in that fateful edition of Prime Time Investigates a mere two weeks before the programme was due to broadcast false allegations that he had fathered a child with a minor whilst on a mission in Africa.

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