Wednesday 24 January 2018

Colum Kenny: No matter how it spins the story, Government cannot probe media

The RTE inquiry may be a bid to dispel concern the Coalition has an axe to grind with Catholics, writes Colum Kenny

I agreed with my colleagues on the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to refer RTE's Mission To Prey programme to the BAI Compliance Committee for its consideration last week.

But I did so because of significant public concern about the programme and because RTE had already welcomed any possible BAI investigation, not just because the Government thought that there ought to be an investigation.

In fact the Government has no power to order the BAI to conduct such an investigation into a broadcaster. Widespread misreporting of the Government's decision failed to note this fact. The Government has as much power as Mrs Murphy of Tralee or Mr O'Neill of Letterkenny to trigger such an investigation or to set deadlines for it.

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