The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (10th March) published its new Guidelines in Respect of Coverage of Local and European Elections. The Guidelines, which have immediate effect, have been issued to all broadcasters in the State in advance of the local and European elections being held on Friday 23rd May, 2014.
The Guidelines are provided for under rule 27 of the BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs and contain advice on the approach to be taken to coverage of the respective elections. They also include a number of requirements that broadcasters must meet, further to the provisions of the BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs.
As well as outlining statutory requirements, the Guidelines also address considerations such as the role and responsibility of broadcasting personnel, ensuring an appropriate range of views, the handling of opinion polls, the approach to social media, the allocation of airtime and an encouragement to broadcasters to seek opportunities to cover election issues in the Irish language. Given the importance of the local and European elections and the role that broadcasters play in their coverage, the Guidelines require broadcasters to ensure fairness, objectivity and impartiality in the approach taken to coverage. The Guidelines also require compliance with a moratorium on coverage of the elections. This comes into effect from 2pm on Thursday 22nd May and ends following the closing of polling stations on 23rd May.
A copy of the Guidelines can be found here: English version; Irish version.
Media Queries to:
Tony Heffernan/Emily Kelly
01 4200580 /087 2399508/ 087 9759248