BAI to 'prevent broadcasters from expressing own views'

News and current affairs presenters are to be prevented from expressing their own views on matters of public controversy under new rules drawn up by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

BAI to 'prevent broadcasters from expressing own views'

News and Current affairs presenters are to be prevented from expressing their own views on matters of public controversy under new rules drawn up by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The new Code of Fairness, Objectivity, and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs will prohibit presenters from advocating a partisan position.

The Code will also oblige broadcasters to provide clear justification before engaging in secret filming or doorstepping of interviewees.

Radio and television stations must also put in place appropriate policies for handling contributions via social media.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland says the guidelines are designed to promote independent and impartial journalism, and its chairman Bob Collins denies the new rules are a form of censorship on presenters.

"Programmes which derive much of their character from the individual personality of the person who presents it is nothing new. They have been part of broadcasting for a long time but what this simply means is they can't turn their programme into a vehicle to advance their own particular hobby-horses.

"That's so the audience can be given significant respect to make their own decisions at the end of the day as opposed to having somebody else's views."

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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