Wednesday 21 February 2018

Martina Devlin: Mystifying decision by broadcasting watchdog

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

When a button is pushed and Bryan Dobson beams into my house, I pay attention to what he says -- I might even stop what I'm doing, the better to listen. That reassuring air, suggestive of 'this too will pass,' as he dispenses bad news is compulsive viewing.

It's almost on a par with performance art, and I miss Dobbo when he takes a break. And that's the X factor -- the secret to the uniquely commanding status RTE occupies in Irish life. Its figureheads become our intimates: we grow to like some, respect others, trust most.

Such a singular position, in addition to its part-financing from our taxes, means the national broadcaster rightly comes under considerable scrutiny, with director-general Noel Curran and other senior RTE people appearing before a joint Oireachtas committee recently.

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