Radio show broke rules

A community radio station has been found to have breached broadcasting legislation over a radio programme concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Radio show broke rules

Cork City Community Radio failed to counterbalance pro-Israeli views expressed in an edition of the programme Rebel Radio which was broadcast on November 16 last.

Responding to a complaint taken on behalf of the Cork branch of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland found the station should not have allowed views expressed by a representative of the organisation Irish4Israel to go unchallenged.

During the programme, the representative made a range of criticisms of the governments in the West Bank and Gaza that were not examined or questioned in any critical manner either by interjections from the presenter or via the inclusion of other perspectives that may have been available.

In its determination, the BAI said that the relationship between Palestine and Israel was a legitimate subject to deal with but that the legal requirement for fairness, objectivity and impartiality in news and current affairs had not been met.

The BAI’s Compliance Committee noted the guest gave his honest opinion that, for the most part, the failure to progress peace accords between Israel and Palestine was the consequence of the actions of Hamas and the PLO towards Israel.

“However, other views on this aspect of the dispute exist but were not reflected in the programme,” the committee said.

“Further, the committee also noted that the guest made a number of strong criticisms of named organisations that either provide aid to the people of Palestine or which advocate for the people of Palestine and where, in the absence of any representative from the organisations, these criticisms should have been tested and examined by the programme presenter but which were not.”

However, the BAI found that the presenter of the show had not endorsed the views of the Israeli representative.

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