The BAI invites you to provide your views on the content of the draft BAI Strategy Statement 2021-2023.

You can submit your views in a number of ways.  You can respond to a question, or questions, using the response form/s in Section 3 below, or you can e-mail your response to strategy@bai.ie. Alternatively, you can submit your response in writing to:

BAI Draft Strategy,

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland,

2-5 Warrington Place,

Dublin D02XP29.

All responses to this public consultation must reach the BAI by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11th November 2020.

Introduction to the Consultation

Welcome to the public consultation on the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s draft Strategy Statement 2021-2023.

 

What is the BAI Strategy Statement?

The BAI prepares a new Strategy Statement every three years in accordance with section 29 of the Broadcasting Act, 2009. This Statement details the BAI’s Mission, Vision, Values and Strategic Objectives. It also identifies expected outcomes from the work of the BAI over this period.

 

Public Consultation

In line with the requirements of the Broadcasting Act, 2009 the BAI is now inviting views of all interested parties on the draft Strategy Statement for the period 2021 to 2023. The public and interested groups are asked to read the Consultation Document and consider the questions set out here in Section 3. The information collected during this consultation process will inform the BAI’s final decisions on the content of the final BAI Strategy Statement 2021-2023. The final document will be published in December 2020.

Publication of Submissions

The BAI will publish the submissions received to this consultation on www.bai.ie after the publication of the final Strategy Statement 2021-2023. We will include your name and response, and publication will be subject to consideration of information that may be deemed of a personal nature, sensitive or given in confidence, as provided for by the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and the Data Protection Acts and Regulations.  The information collected will be used only for the purposes of developing the new Strategy and for no other purpose.

The BAI shall comply with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018, GDPR and any other applicable data privacy laws and regulations.  The BAI’s Data Protection Policy, and Privacy Statement is available at www.bai.ie.

Freedom of Information

 The BAI undertakes to use its best endeavors to hold confidential any information provided by you in your submission subject to the BAI’s obligations under law, including under the Freedom of Information Act 2014.  Should you wish that any of the information supplied by you in your submission should not be disclosed because of its sensitivity, you should, when providing the information, identify the same and specify the reasons for its sensitivity.  The BAI will consult with you about this sensitive information before deciding on any Freedom of Information request received.

Section 2: Context for the BAI Strategy Statement 2021-2023

The review of the 2017-2019 Strategy Statement and the focus of the BAI over next three years have informed the Authority’s proposals on the content of the draft Strategy Statement 2021-2023.

Work on the Draft Strategy Statement commenced in 2019 with a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing 2017-2019 Strategy Statement. The emerging Report entitled ‘BAI Strategy Statement 2017-2019 – A Review’ by Ipsos MRBI can be accessed here.

During the lifetime of this strategy, the BAI expects key changes to media regulation, including the transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) into Irish law, the dissolution of the BAI and the transfer of its functions to a new Media Commission / harmful online content regulator. While the Strategy Statement is for a three-year period, the Authority is aware that it may not be required for the full three years.

In developing this strategy, the Authority also had regard to a range of other factors that will shape the media environment and will influence the BAI’s work and direction during this period. These factors include changing expectations of media, increased interaction with digital media and international developments impacting on media and public life. Therefore, while this draft strategy statement is shaped by the current legislative framework and the BAI’s related functions and responsibilities, it also reflects the BAI’s expected role in leading and influencing change and transforming itself as an organisation for integration into the new Media Commission.  For this reason, a new strategic theme has been included: ‘Leadership in Change’.  This Theme has both internal and external dimensions and includes three objectives.  The other themes are unchanged reflecting stakeholder views that they continue to be of importance and relevance for the next three-year period. While the themes are unchanged, they include new strategic objectives which are explained and elaborated on in Section 3.

For information and comparison, the current Strategy Statement 2017-2019 can be found here: https://www.bai.ie/en/about-us/our-strategic-goals/.

 

Section 3.1: Draft Strategy Statement 2021-23: Vision, Mission and Values

The draft Strategy Statement 2021-2023 retains the BAI’s Vision, Mission and Values articulated in the 2017-2019 Strategy Statement.

BAI Vision

The BAI’s Vision of ‘An Irish media landscape that reflects and shapes who we are’ sets out the BAI’s vision of the future it wants to help create.  The review of the 2017-2019 Strategy Statement indicated that stakeholders perceived a significant level of achievement of this vision. This Vision was not specifically linked to the previous Strategy timeframe 2017-2019 but remains a constant end goal amid continuous change to our society and media.

BAI Mission

The BAI’s Mission Statement is divided into three distinct elements encompassing regulation and support for Irish broadcasting, plurality and diversity in Irish media and content. These goals explain what the BAI will do over the period of the Strategy to achieve its Vision. The review of the 2017-2019 Strategy Statement measured the perceived relevance of these goals for the forthcoming three-year period and all goals were perceived to have more or equal relevance.

The Mission is divided into three distinct elements as follows:

  1. To regulate, foster and support broadcasting in the public interest
  2. To promote a plurality of voices, viewpoints, outlets and sources in Irish media
  3. To foster diverse and culturally relevant quality content for Irish audiences

BAI Values

There are four core Values stated in the draft Strategy Statement 2021-2023.  These are the priority values that underpin the BAI’s decision-making and operations and are the bedrock of its organisational culture:

  • Fair – in our processes, procedures, and decisions.
  • Independent – operating as an impartial regulator.
  • Expert – by informing ourselves through engagement, research and a commitment to professional learning.
  • Accountable – in our decisions, our governance, and our resources.
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Section 3.2: Draft Strategy Statement 2021-23: Themes, Objectives and Outcomes

The BAI Strategy Statement 2021-2023 identifies five broad Strategic Themes:

  • Promoting Diversity and Plurality;
  • Achieving Excellence and Accountability;
  • Leadership in Change;
  • Empowering Audiences; and
  • Enhancing Innovation and Sectoral Sustainability.

 

Under each of the five themes a series of high-level Strategic Objectives are proposed as well as the intended Outcomes over the period of the Strategy 2021-2023.

The BAI will also publish measurable Performance Indicators for each intended outcome.  These indicators will give our stakeholders and the public a greater understanding of the wide range and type of activities the BAI will undertake to support the achievement of the intended outcomes. There will also be certainty around their achievement.

3.2.1 Strategic Theme 1: Promoting Plurality and Diversity

Theme 1, ‘Promoting Diversity and Plurality’, identifies four Objectives addressing plurality and diversity in Irish media and production and availability of culturally relevant and Irish language content for Irish audiences. The BAI achieved a relatively strong performance across all these objectives in the review among stakeholders and they were also perceived to have increased relevance for the next three-year period.  The draft Strategy Statement 2021-2023 therefore retains these objectives. The first outcome has been revised to reflect the importance of sustaining and upholding trust in journalism.  The other outcomes are unchanged.

Under this Theme, key BAI activities and supports will include the undertaking of media and audience research, publication of reports on media ownership, licensing plans, the operation of the Sound and Vision and Archiving Broadcasting Funding Schemes and specific Diversity Action Plans.

 

Strategic Objective Theme 1: Promoting Plurality and Diversity

  1. Facilitate a mix of voices, opinions and sources of news and current affairs in audio and audiovisual media which enhances democratic debate and active citizenship in Ireland.
  2. Increase the production and availability of relevant audio and audiovisual content for Irish audiences.
  3. Foster a media landscape that is representative of, and accessible to, the diversity of Irish society.
  4. Foster and promote quality programming in the Irish Language.

 

 

 

Outcomes

 

The mix of voices, opinions and sources of news and current affairs content available for audiences is strong and trust in journalism is sustained and upheld.

The range and sources of culturally relevant, audio and audiovisual content, including content in the Irish language, available to audiences has increased.

Irish audio and audiovisual media are more diverse in terms of its content and those involved in its production.

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3.2.2 Strategic Theme 2: Achieving Excellence and Accountability

Theme 2, ‘Achieving Excellence and Accountability’, identifies four Objectives reflecting the core role and functions of the BAI as a regulator.

The first objective is unchanged from the 2017-2019 Strategy Statement.  Two new objectives concern the organisation’s commitment to good governance and sustainable best practice.  These objectives clarify that the BAI’s approach is centrally informed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the Irish Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies.  They also encompass the BAI’s public sector duty to ensure implementation of the principles of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.  A new fourth objective commits the BAI to reviewing and improving regulatory practices to reduce regulatory burden ultimately resulting in an Outcome that regulation is proportionate and serves the public interest.

Under this Theme, key BAI activities and actions will include the development and implementation of compliance plans, reports on broadcasters’ compliance with BAI Codes and Rules, the development of Action Plans relating to sustainability and the BAI’s public sector duty, BAI’s facilitation of a Broadcasters’ Sustainability Network, BAI’s compliance with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies and the BAI’s Statement on the reduction of regulatory burden.

 

Strategic Objective Theme 2: Achieving Excellence and Accountability

  1. Regulate to achieve a responsible and accountable broadcasting sector.
  2. Show leadership by modelling and promoting high standards of environmental, economic and social practice in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  3. Show leadership by modelling and promoting high standards of governance practice in line with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (COPGSB).
  4. Improve regulatory practices to reduce regulatory burden.

 

Outcomes

 

The BAI is a trusted regulator by all stakeholders.

Broadcasting sector demonstrates strong accountability and responsibility.

The BAI has established transparent practices and reporting mechanisms which demonstrate high engagement by the BAI with UN SDGs.

The BAI has facilitated the Broadcasting Sector in developing a Sustainability Network that demonstrates sound awareness of, and participation, in SDG practice

The BAI has established transparent practices and reporting mechanisms which demonstrate a high level of compliance by the BAI with the COPGSB.

Regulation is proportionate and serves the public interest.

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3.2.3 Strategic Theme 3: Leadership in Change

Theme 3, ‘Leadership in Change’, is a new Theme and replaces Theme 3 ‘Communicating and Influencing’ from the 2017-2019 Strategy Statement. This Theme has both internal and external dimensions and includes three new objectives. The first objective positions the BAI to lead debate and influence policy development on the future legislative and regulatory framework for digital media services. The second objective commits the BAI to responding and adapting to developments in the wider environment, anticipating and assessing organisational, sectoral and audience impacts, while the third addresses the requirement to transform the organisation and resources for integration into the new Media Commission.

Under this Theme, key BAI activities and actions will include an annual AVMSD communications action plan, a stakeholder engagement plan, Audience Research linked to the new media regulatory ecosystem, reports on and participation in European media policy development and internal training and development initiatives focusing on change management practices.

 

Strategic Objective Theme 3: Leadership in Change

  1. Lead debate and influence policy development on the future legislative and regulatory framework for digital media services.
  2. Respond and adapt to developments in the wider environment, anticipating and assessing organisational, sectoral and audience impacts.
  3. Lead and shape the BAI’s development, policies, practices and processes in preparation for integration into the new Media Commission.

 

Outcomes

The BAI uses its knowledge and expertise in collaborating with national and international stakeholders in developing the future regulatory regime for online platforms and in evolving its digital media policies to meet audience and user needs.

The BAI is viewed by stakeholders as an informative, authoritative and influential voice on media regulation.

BAI stakeholders have confidence in regulatory responses that are timely and proportionate.

The BAI has a strong leadership, learning and performance culture and an agile, motivated and informed workforce which will support the BAI in its full integration into the new Media Commission.

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3.2.4 Strategic Theme 4: Empowering Audiences

Under the Theme of ‘Empowering Audiences’, the BAI has been to the forefront in the promotion of media literacy and research.  In the 2017-2019 Strategy Statement, this Theme identified one single objective – to develop the understanding, engagement and participation of the public in an evolving landscape. An additional new objective signals BAI’s commitment to the provision of information and an increased participative role to our stakeholders and public in our regulatory processes, in particular the development and review of codes, rules and policies.

Under this Theme, key BAI activities and actions will include ongoing support for Media Literacy Ireland initiatives, reports and research, public consultations, the BAI complaints process and the BAI’s Publication Scheme.

 

Strategic Objective Theme 4: Empowering Audiences

  1. Enhance the understanding, engagement and participation of the public in the media landscape and promote media literacy.
  1. Inform and engage the public and BAI stakeholders on the review and revision (as appropriate) of BAI Codes, Rules and Policies.

 

Outcomes

Audiences in Ireland are more connected to, and engaged with, audio and audiovisual content.

Public knowledge of BAI codes and rules, and the values underpinning them, is enhanced.

There is increased public participation in BAI’s regulatory processes.

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3.2.5 Strategic Theme 5: Enhancing Innovation and Sectoral Sustainability

Theme 5 ‘Enhancing Innovation and Sector Sustainability’ identifies two objectives addressing creativity and innovation in, and the issue of sustainability for, the Irish audio and audiovisual sectors in circumstances where the challenges of changing patterns of media consumption, technological change, increased competition and diminishing of advertising revenue are expected to continue.

The first objective and associated Outcome ensures that creativity and innovation will be a key focus of the BAI’s Broadcasting Funding and sectoral development schemes.  The second objective and its associated Outcome reflects the BAI’s commitment to support the achievement of enhanced sustainability for the Irish audio and audiovisual sectors.

 

Under this Theme, key BAI supports and activities will include the BAI’s Broadcasting Funding and sectoral development schemes, joint BAI and industry initiatives and reports on creativity and innovation as features of Irish public service broadcasting.

 

Strategic Objective Theme 5: Enhancing Innovation and Sectoral Sustainability

  1. Encourage creativity and innovation as distinctive features of the Irish audio and audiovisual sectors.
  2. Support the achievement of enhanced sustainability for the Irish audio and audiovisual sectors.

 

Outcomes

 

Creativity & innovation are a focus of BAI’s sectoral support activities (including the Broadcasting Funding Scheme and BAI Sectoral Development).

The viability of the Irish audio and audiovisual sectors has been enhanced by BAI initiatives in this area.

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