Complaints to BAI fall by 33% in 2018

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) received 33% fewer complaints in 2018 relating to programming and advertisements broadcast on Irish radio and television, compared with the previous year. Figures released today (31.03.19) by the BAI, show that it received 73 valid complaints in 2018. In 2017, it received 109 such complaints.

Of the valid complaints, 45 were made under the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality; 20 under the Code of Programme Standards; four were in relation to the General Commercial Communications Code; and four were under the Children’s Advertising Code.

Commenting, BAI chief executive, Michael O’Keeffe said: “As is BAI policy, in general complainants must complain to the broadcaster in the first instance. If they are not satisfied with the response from the broadcaster, they can then make a complaint to the BAI. The reduction in the number of complaints received is very encouraging and is testament to the high level of compliance by broadcasters with the BAI’s broadcasting codes and rules.”

The figures are released as part of an infographic report that captures the communications work of the Authority in 2018 under its five strategic themes: Promoting Diversity and Plurality; Communicating and Influencing; Empowering Audiences; Enhancing Innovation and Sectoral Sustainability; and Achieving Excellence and Accountability.

In 2018, the BAI:

  • Offered €11.96m in funding for 256 radio and TV projects under the Sound and Vision Scheme.
  • Hosted a number of events to support its activities, including the launch of the revised BAI Broadcasting Services Strategy and public consultations on the BAI Ownership & Control and Plurality policies.
  • Supported screenings of a number of high-profile Sound and Vision-funded programmes and films, including Ireland’s Oceans; The Meeting; The Irish Grand National – Chasing a Dream; Murdair Mhám Trasna, Poc na nGael and Building Ireland.
  • Allocated €335,229 to training and development initiatives and provided €143,000 in sponsorship to events and activities.
  • Received 25 Freedom of Information requests.
  • Licenced 19 temporary radio contracts.
  • Issued 370 social media posts supporting and promoting the Irish broadcasting sector.

Mr O’Keeffe added: “It is important that the broadcasting sector both reflects and shapes a modern Ireland. The BAI works to achieve this by regulating, fostering and supporting broadcasting; promoting a plurality of voices, viewpoints, outlets and sources in Irish media, and by fostering diverse and culturally relevant quality content for Irish audiences. To this end, in 2018, the BAI allocated almost €12m from the television licence fee to support the development of quality TV and radio programmes on the themes of Irish culture, heritage and experience, and improving media literacy; allocated more than €335,000 to training and development initiatives such as Learning Waves, Women in Film and Television, Screen Producers Ireland and the Community Television Association; and sponsored events such as the Guth Gafa Documentary Film Festival, Oireachtas na Gaeilge, HearSay, and Access Cinema.

“We look forward to working with both sectoral interests and audiences in 2019, which will be another busy year for broadcasting.”

The infographic containing further information on the BAI’s work in 2018 can be found here.