BAI highlights Referendum coverage requirements

In advance of the forthcoming referendum scheduled to take place on 31st May 2012, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has written to all broadcasters reminding them that the BAI Code on Referenda and Election Coverage applies to all reporting on the referendum on the Treaty on Stability, Co-operation and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union.

Further to the Code, broadcasters must ensure that their coverage of the referendum is fair, objective and impartial to all interests and undertaken without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views.  The Code also includes specific rules that relate to party political broadcasts and details the prohibition of advertising intended to influence the views of voters. The BAI has also written to broadcasters to inform them of their obligation to carry announcements produced on behalf of the Referendum Commission.

Speaking about the Code, Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the BAI said, “Irish radio and television broadcasters have played a key role in informing the Irish public about referenda held in recent years and will do so again in the coming weeks. The Code sets out the rules and standards that apply to coverage of the forthcoming referendum in a context where ensuring fairness, objectivity and impartiality is essential.”

The BAI has also published explanatory guidance notes in order to assist broadcasters, candidates and the general public to understand and implement the Code.

A copy of the Code and explanatory guidance notes can be downloaded from:

Media Queries to:

Tony Heffernan/ Catherine Heaney

DHR Communications

087 2399508/ 087 2309835