BAI Publishes Right of Reply Scheme

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (“BAI”) has today (3rd May) published the BAI Right of Reply Scheme.
The Scheme, which comes into effect from 4th May, will provide for the broadcast of a Right of Reply Statement that will facilitate the correction of incorrect information which has been broadcast and which has resulted in a person’s honour or reputation being impugned. The Scheme details the process for exercising a Right of Reply and the manner in which the public can utilise this process.
The BAI has developed the Scheme further to the requirements of the Broadcasting Act, 2009 and it is intended to provide an opportunity for a person to exercise his/her right to the correction of incorrect information without recourse to legal proceedings which may prove time-consuming and costly.
A request for a Right of Reply should be made to the broadcaster and all broadcasters are required to include on their website a copy of the Scheme and information about the contact person to whom requests for a Right of Reply may be made. Decisions by a broadcaster to refuse such requests can be reviewed by the BAI’s Compliance Committee.
In welcoming the publication of the Scheme, the BAI’s Chief Executive Michael O’ Keeffe said, “A Right of Reply is about the correction of incorrect facts or information. However, the Scheme does not provide for the broadcast of an alternative or contrary opinion. In other words, a person may not be satisfied with the manner in which a broadcaster has relayed information about him/her, but a Right of Reply will not be granted unless the facts or information are factually incorrect such that their honour or reputation has been impugned.”