New Broadcasting Complaints Process Introduced

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (“BAI”) has today (4th May) introduced changes to the manner in which the public can make complaints about Irish radio and television programmes.
From today, all complaints about programming and commercial communications (including advertising, sponsorship and product placement) should be directed in the first instance to the relevant broadcaster. These changes have been introduced in the context of the requirements of Section 47 of the Broadcasting Act, 2009 and following consultation with broadcasters.
Section 47 of the Act requires every broadcaster to give due and adequate consideration to complaints once such complaints are made in good faith and are not of a frivolous or vexatious nature. To this end, broadcasters must develop and publish a Code of Practice for Complaints Handling that includes:
– an initial point of contact for complainants, including an electronic-mail address;
– a time period within which the broadcaster shall respond to complaints, and;
– the procedures to be followed by the broadcaster in the resolution of complaints.
The Code of Practice must be published on the broadcaster’s website and made available upon request.
Members of the public can refer their complaint to the BAI in the event that the broadcaster has not responded to their complaint or in the event that they are not satisfied with the decision reached by the broadcaster.
Speaking about the changes being introduced, the BAI’s Chief Executive Michael O’ Keeffe said, “this change in the complaints process acknowledges the unique relationship between broadcasters and their audiences and it is fitting that listeners and viewers should contact the broadcaster in the first instance when they are unhappy about what they have seen or heard.”

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
Release Date: 4th May 2011
The BAI has published a revised Guide for Listeners and Viewers to the Complaints Process and a copy of the Guide can be downloaded from the BAI’s website or obtained from the BAI’s offices at 2-5 Warrington Place, Dublin 2.