The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (“BAI”) has today (20.09.18) published updated guidelines in respect of election coverage. The guidelines will apply to the planned Presidential election on Friday 26th October next and future elections which may arise over the coming years.
The guidelines have been developed further to the provisions of the BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs and provide direction and advice to broadcasters as to how fairness, objectivity and impartiality can be achieved in their coverage of forthcoming election campaigns.
Among the matters covered in the updated guidelines are the various ways in which fairness, objectivity and impartiality may be achieved, and how conflicts of interest, social media, party political broadcasts and the reporting of opinion polls may be considered. The guidelines will come into effect from the 27th September 2018.
Commenting on the guidelines, Michael O’Keeffe, BAI Chief Executive said: “Broadcasters play an important and valuable role in the manner in which information about an election is communicated to, and discussed by, the Irish public. The publication of the guidelines today should aid broadcasters so that their approach to coverage is open, transparent and fair to all interested parties.
In this regard, the BAI recognises the importance of social media as a channel for audience engagement with news and current affairs programming and this is reflected in the requirement for broadcasters to have appropriate policies and procedures in place for handling on-air contributions via social media. The guidelines also provide for the implementation of procedures by broadcasters to address any conflicts of interest that may exist or arise in respect of anyone with an editorial involvement in any news or current affairs content, whether such person works on-air or off-air.”
The updated election guidelines will operate in tandem with the BAI Referenda Guidelines, which will also come into effect from the 27th September, and will apply to coverage of the referendum on blasphemy. Both sets of guidelines will be in effect until the closure of polling stations on the 26th October 2018.
Contact: Sebastian Enke / Joanne Ahern, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-3239496 / 087-9881837
Note to Editors
- The Guidelines in Respect of Coverage of Election in English are available for download here.
- The Guidelines in Respect of Coverage of Election in Irish are available for download here.
- The BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality is available to download here.
- The Guidance Notes on the BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality are available to download here.