Environmental stories take up less than 1% of airtime on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland – one 13th the airtime devoted to sport

This morning.

Via [environmental NGO] Gluaiseacht:

Gluaiseacht analysed two weeks of Morning Ireland broadcasts, separated by six months, in April and October.

It found environmental stories were covered for only 0.92% of the time, while sports news accounted for 12.41% of the broadcast time, dedicated business news was covered for 5.57% of the time, and Brexit coverage accounted for 10.69% of the broadcast time.

Only one feature story over the two weeks carried an environmental angle, a story about new research into how dandelion seeds fly….

Gluaiseacht member Eoin Ó Leidhin said,

“RTÉ and in this case Morning Ireland are failing to inform the public on environmental and climate change stories. We have seen from the aftermath of the BBC’s Blue Planet II series and the subsequent plastics campaign what public service broadcasting can achieve in mobilising the population for the common good. Yet RTÉ haven’t even had a standalone environmental correspondent since 2010, while in comparison they have lots of sports correspondents”.

Gluaiseacht

43 thoughts on “The Coverage Gap

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      But there is strong public interest in science, technology, education, transport and industry – all of which are pertinent to environmental matters. The ‘environment’ is everything around us – how can you possibly suggest this does not interest the public, morning or anytime, simply on the basis that it does not interest YOU?

      Well done Gluaiseacht on compiling this. There is definately way too much sports rabble in the news bulletins. If you’re relying on Des Cahill for a ‘quick sports update’, sure he’ll use up the entire news slot alone with his pauses and comments. Sport is recreational; we have far too many important issues to discuss. To add to this, as Robert Fisk regularly crticises Irish Media for, sparse international affairs reporting also.

      Reply
        1. pedeyw

          He’s also very good at false consensus. “Nobody cares about environmental stories” means Tom doesn’t care about it. Same thing with the Strypes story yesterday.

          Reply
          1. Tom

            Backed up by facts. If people cared then The radio would be full of stories and The Strypes would be making loads of money touring.

          2. realPolithicks

            “You need to learn the difference between facts and opinions, buddy.”

            Not in drumpf’s world.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        While I commended Gluaiseacht for this, note that their website postings date from 2016, with an event still up there advertised for March 2015. Maybe get house in order first before launching media criticisms?

        Reply
        1. Rob_G

          Gluaiseacht is (I suppose) a tiny NGO, RTÉ is a licence fee-funded public broadcaster – not really comparing like with like there, Hoop.

          Reply
          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Ah I know that, and wasn’t comparing one with the other at all really Just that, if releasing some eye-opening stats and analysis as they have – likely to be cited – I would’ve got the ‘oul website in order.

    1. Leopold Gloom

      Not to be overly pedantic but..

      Sports coverage makes up an eighth.

      What they said however was, environmental coverage gets one thirteenth of the the amount of time that sports get.

      If you’re going to be pedantic, at least be correct.

      Reply
        1. Leopold Gloom

          I may have been overly harsh. I was making all sorts of mistakes yesterday. Simple ones I’d bemoan if other people made.

          Reply
  1. Col

    I can’t access the link, but what did other topics get. Things that would also be considered important these days- housing, healthcare, terrorism, the rise of populism across Europe etc?
    I feel the categories above are a bit vague and not all-encompassing.

    Reply
    1. postmanpat

      I know , but you get the general idea . Environmental stories are extremely under reported. And if RTE and other local media where to adjust the dials somewhat it might have a positive effect on the population. Sure the baby boomer (here I go again) do not give one s**t about the environment and they are the main audience of RTE but there are some younger people , squares mostly but there’re out there in there thousands , who might be exposed to damning report about some chemical spill that killed a whole rivers worth of fish instead of a fluff piece about the nice taste of kobe beef or bacon hipster recipes and what fuel guzzling jeep to buy for your 5 kids and counting. Maybe if 3 minutes where cut from every sport post match analysis show where alcoholic men talk about how a ball should have been kicked…..I don’t know. The point is, a lot of affluent people in the leafy suburbs are tearing up the environment with the lifestyle they live , which is just as bad if not worse that the 60 /70 year old farts that would throw a chocolate bar wrapper out of there merc window, less it temporally litter there car instead. There values are messed up. We didn’t need to hear 90% of the brexit news and speculation pieces that are pushed out there. Or presidential candidate stories for that matter. There has been catastrophic spills and illegal dump scandals in the last year but you have to search for these stories online to learn anything about them . it should be prime time news bulletin worthy , not another story about Harry and Megans whateverthef**k..

      Reply
  2. Clampers Outside!

    Does it take into account that Sport has its’ own regular ‘section’ on practically every single “news” programme across the globe and is considered largely as part of the entertainment coverage?

    Also, what other topics have their own section, or sub-section of entertainment, and how do they compare?

    IMO, this isn’t even a proper comparative analysis of the content of the medium of radio, or “news” by any stretch.

    Being so ridiculous as to be comparing entertainment to news, and claiming the two are received, consumed, understood, or respected in the same manner makes a nonsense of this “report”.

    Reply
    1. Rob_G

      That’s the thing – even though sport has it’s own separate programming (all of Sunday afternoon radio seems to be given over to the bloody thing), a full one-eighth of national broadcasters flagship news programme is occupied by sports coverage, instead of stuff of existential importance.

      Reply
  3. postmanpat

    I know , but you get the general idea . Environmental stories are extremely under reported. And if RTE and other local media where to adjust the dials somewhat it might have a positive effect on the population. Sure the baby boomer (here I go again) do not give one s**t about the environment and they are the main audience of RTE but there are some younger people , squares mostly but there’re out there in there thousands , who might be exposed to damning report about some chemical spill that killed a whole rivers worth of fish instead of a fluff piece about the nice taste of kobe beef or bacon hipster recipes and what fuel guzzling jeep to buy for your 5 kids and counting. Maybe if 3 minutes where cut from every sport post match analysis show where alcoholic men talk about how a ball should have been kicked…..I don’t know. The point is, a lot of affluent people in the leafy suburbs are tearing up the environment with the lifestyle they live , which is just as bad if not worse that the 60 /70 year old farts that would throw a chocolate bar wrapper out of there merc window, less it temporally litter there car instead. There values are messed up. We didn’t need to hear 90% of the brexit news and speculation pieces that are pushed out there. Or presidential candidate stories for that matter. There has been catastrophic spills and illegal dump scandals in the last year but you have to search for these stories online to learn anything about them . it should be prime time news bulletin worthy , not another story about Harry and Megans whateverthef**k..

    Reply
    1. Clampers Outside!

      “Baby boomers” were born between 1946 and 1964….

      I think it’s time you moved on from that catch-all phrase, in fairness, as it scuppers a half decent but very very generalised point.

      Reply
      1. postmanpat

        yeah, 60 to 70 years olds today. what did I get wrong? They don’t give a s**t about the environment. And a lot of there offspring who have started family’s of there own hold the same values. My sister for example who during one of her kids birthday party saw me lookin ground to find the glass recycle bin for my empty beer and told me just to throw it in the regular bin which I saw was full of used wrapping paper and cardboard and half eaten slices of cake. No attempt to sort the stuff out. to inconvenient. Nice message for your kids sis. So it goes through the generations. It started with the wasteful polluting boomers. All it takes is a few painless adjustments and thought to make a difference, but as far as I can see most people do not care. But what do I know , I’m just a pot smoking veggie who uses a bike to get to work.

        Reply
  4. I post things vaguely related to the image/subject

    It’s great to see this kind of post on Broadsheet. Thank you very much!

    While we’re on the subject, I’ve got two questions for Bodger and co.
    1. Do one or more members of Broadsheet staff believe that man made global warming ISN’T happening?
    2. If yes, does that affect Broadsheet’s editorial policy with regard climate change coverage?

    Reply
  5. Nigel

    It is genuinely horrifying the lack of coverage but that dandelion story was amazing. There are a lot of social and political aspects to environmental topics but there also heavy on the science and science reporting tends to be terrible except for the guy who does (did?) space stuff he was (is?) passionate and knowledgeable about it and it came across. More like that except for the environment please. During the Cold War it didn’t matter if people had any inherent interest in geopolitics it was reported on because it was important. Similarly environmental issues now.

    Reply
  6. Clampers Outside!

    There was a lovely, if sad with some positives, TV programme on Atlantic salmon on RTE last night… worth a catch up on the Player, if yizzer interested.

    Reply
    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      It was a great little programme wasn’t it. Trying to find out who narrated – sounded like Gabriel Byrne. Sometimes the voice makes these nature programmes fly high.

      Reply
  7. newsjustin

    Yeah. They have a crazy amount of different sports reporters and presenters. And no one talking about Climate Change, the only topic that our Taoiseach has referred to in formal documents as being a threat to the survival of the planet.

    Instead we get George Lee who seems to be also the Agricultural correspondent. Mmmmmmm

    Reply

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