The RTÉ Authority was yesterday fined €200,000 by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland over serious breaches of the Broadcasting Act.
The station has accepted that its defamation of Fr Kevin Reynolds was one of the most significant errors in its long broadcasting history.
There were no excuses, and RTÉ has acknowledged its mistakes. Over the years, RTÉ has had an exemplary record in its investigations, especially the Prime Time programme.
It made invaluable contributions to our understanding of current affairs over the past two decades. As a result those dreadful misjudgments in relation to Fr Reynolds stand out all the more against the backdrop of its earlier successes.
It is important that the station learns from those mistakes, but this should not prevent it from tacking our current affairs with informed determination. The necessary resources must be provided for this in the national interest.
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