The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland was established on 1st October 2009 to regulate content across all broadcasting, assuming the roles previously held by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC). The Broadcasting Act 2009 sets out a range of general and specific objectives for the BAI and specifies that its constituent parts, in performing their functions, “shall endeavour to ensure:
- that the number and categories of broadcasting services made available in the State best serves the needs of the people of the island of Ireland, bearing in mind their languages and traditions and their religious, ethical and cultural diversity,
- that the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution, especially those relating to rightful liberty of expression, are upheld, and
- the provision of open and pluralistic broadcasting services.”
The Act also sets out a range of other objectives for the Authority which include:
- stimulating the provision of high quality, diverse, and innovative programming
- facilitating public service broadcasters in the fulfilment of their public service objectives
- promoting diversity of control in the commercial and community sectors
ensuring that broadcasting regulation:
- sustains independent and impartial journalism
- sustains compliance with employment law
- protects the interests of children
- facilitates a broadcasting sector which is responsive to audience needs and accessible to people with disabilities
- promotes and stimulates the development of Irish language programming and broadcasting services.
The Act aims to increase transparency in the governance of broadcasting in Ireland, thereby promoting legitimacy, accountability and fair procedures in the provision of high-quality, diverse and innovative programming. Particular functions under the Act relate to the BAI’s oversight of public service broadcasters and the allocation of public funding.
Further information about the BAI is contained in the BAI Strategy Document.