Tag Archives: RTE

David McCullagh and Caitriona Perry who will begin presenting RTE’s Six One News in September 2020.

Like an estate agents.

This afternoon.

Laura Fitzgerald writes:

RTÉ News today announced that David McCullagh will join Caitriona Perry as the new permanent presenter of the RTÉ Six One News.

Journalist and Broadcaster David who currently presents Prime Time on RTÉ One and This Week on RTÉ Radio 1, will join Caitriona Perry to co-present the flagship programme from September 2020.

David McCullagh said:

“After seven very enjoyable years on Prime Time, I’m really looking forward to joining Caitríona on the Six One News and continuing the work of our much loved colleague Keelin Shanley. Over the last few months the need for accurate information has never been greater, and viewers have turned to RTÉ News and Current Affairs in astonishing numbers. We aim to continue meeting that need, bringing viewers all the news of the day, as well as the big interviews that get to the heart of the issues.”

Pics: RTÉ

Clockwise From top left: Prime Time’s David McCullagh and Miriam O’Callaghan; Aine Lawlor of The Week in Politics; Bryan Dobson of Morning Ireland;: Eamonn Kelly

The RTÉ One Prime Time programme on the rise of nationalism in Ireland (Thursday,  June 25) seemed, from the off, to have another agenda. Two separate issues were collapsed into one, as if they were synonymous.

David McCullagh in his introduction said that similar nationalist groups across Europe “tend to share a deep suspicion of the political establishment and an implacable opposition to emigration.”

This had the effect of casting both issues as being tied at the hip. But many people, who could not in any way be described as racist, are often suspicious of Ireland’s political establishment, and often with good reason.

Nevertheless, the insinuation was woven through the report, and had the effect of suggesting that those working-class people featured in the programme, speaking out for social justice, may be proto racists.

The people featured were mostly working-class people, with working-class accents, concerned with social housing. Everyone knows that working-class accents are the speech patterns of the “other” in Ireland, particularly in Dublin.

In the privatisation of housing under Fine Gael, social housing was neglected in favour of the market, and homelessness soared.

But the victims were mainly those working-class people who traditionally depended on social housing, and are depending on it even more now when two wages can’t afford to buy one house. Those same people who are unable to avail of the pricey educational advantages that middle-class Ireland routinely enjoys and regards as “normal”.

The spin put on this programme, which was ostensibly concerned with Gemma O’Doherty’s and John Waters’ often hare-brained and dangerous escapades, seemed more like political sleight of hand, designed to tarnish those social activists who are neither racist nor hard leftists, but who are interested in social equality and who are often rightly suspicious of Ireland’s political establishment.

To suggest that anyone who is suspicious of a political establishment such as the one led by Fine Gale during austerity, are somehow proto or even covert racists, is really little more than a slippery bit of class politics designed to tarnish opposition to Ireland’s right-wing political establishment.

Sowing Division

The result of Fine Gael housing policy was that there was competition for housing between immigrants and working-class people, setting in train an unfair competition for limited resources. The price of failure in this competition to gain accommodation was homelessness.

But the set of circumstances that caused the conflict arose directly from Fine Gael housing policy, as was repeatedly shown and argued by Fr Peter McVerry.

To imply, as the Prime Time programme did, that those desperate people, placed in such a conflictual set of circumstances imposed upon them by a right-wing political establishment, are somehow proto racists, is a mean and underhanded trick of political spin.

The insinuation also has the effect of protecting the interests of the political establishment that the RTÉ journalists themselves are clearly part of.

Given middle-class suspicion of working-class people, and the routine middle-class prejudices on display by, for instance, Josepha Madigan’s NIMBY activities, it is almost comical that middle-class prejudice towards working-class people should be manipulated in this way to suggest that working-class people are prejudiced against immigrants.

Abstract Austerity

Only a few days earlier, another RTE journalist, Áine Lawlor, made the case on her TV show that austerity had been good for Ireland.

When Áine Lawlor’s views on austerity met with opposition from people interested in social equality, her RTÉ colleagues came out in support of her position.

But these RTÉ personalities are all well paid professionals. Austerity cost them nothing. In fact, austerity often provided the raw material for many of their stories. But none of them were personally bitten by austerity. To them, austerity is an abstraction. It’s just background noise.

But for people on housing lists and hospital waiting lists and working in jobs that don’t pay a living wage and don’t deliver enough to buy or even rent a place in the premium rental market encouraged by FFFG housing policy, austerity is a daily suffering grind. It’s not abstract. It’s real and it’s dirty and it hurts.

And by all accounts there is more of it coming down the line, since the parties who delivered the last tranche of austerity are now back in power in a combination/partnership that no one expected or voted for.

In fact, people were assured by Micheál Martin that Fianna Fail would not enter into coalition with Fine Gael.

This means the new taoiseach has already broken a campaign promise, and he’s still only a wet weekend in the job.

Disappointing Journalism

To be told by the public service broadcaster that those who oppose the current right-wing political establishment, share traits with European racists, seems like a deliberate attempt to deceive the viewer, or to dampen potential dissent.

If this is the standard of journalism in RTÉ we are in real trouble. Because there are those of us who actually look to the established media to behave like “real” journalists, since they are the established face of the profession.

But far from serving the public interest, as real journalists are expected to do, this kind of lazy, politically compromised journalism risks making cynics of us all.

Such journalism gives the impression that the established journalists and the political establishment that they purport to hold to account are all really in the same social club.

Though I am not a journalist by profession, but an arts practitioner, I hold to the ideals of objective journalism, and write from that perspective to the best of my ability.

I am not affiliated with any one party or cause, apart from a general interest in social justice and a particular interest in untangling spun political narratives such as the one described above.

The idea of a journalist not holding to those ideals of objective journalism makes no sense to me, since this would have the effect of abandoning the unique perspective that journalism affords, that space where independent opinion may be expressed.

But this is precisely what these high-ranking RTÉ journalists seem to be doing. In the process of promoting the policies of the political establishment they purport to be holding to account, they are rendering their own professions meaningless.

Complacency

As if to add insult to injury, when Micheál Martin finally ascended to the office of taoiseach, Brian Dobson on RTÉ wondered might the new coalition be described as “centre left”.

Really? I’d regard myself as centre-left. But if Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are centre-left that makes me Che Guevara. I guess that’s the idea. Shove everyone over in the bed, right-wing becomes “normal” and everyone else is a radical.

It is difficult to decide whether this is disinformation – deliberately designed to deceive – or misinformation: mistakenly delivered, where the journalists themselves are being deceived with disinformation.

Though that’s hardly possible, since it would mean that the RTÉ journalists are lacking in the basics of political science.

Whatever the mechanics, this carefully judged encroachment also came across like information spun in the apparent service of right-wing parties attempting to supplant those parties of the left and policies of the left that many voters, calling for change, favoured in the last election.

Perhaps it’s just institutional complacency.

Certainly, the photograph of Miriam O’Callaghan and David McCullagh (top) that goes with the Prime Time programme on the RTÉ player seems like a study in complacency.

Both look kind of sleepily comfortable and casually condescending, their expressions perfectly encapsulating the sense of unaccountable privilege that appears to inform their journalistic choices.

Eamonn Kelly is a freelance Writer and Playwright.

Previously: Eamonn Kelly on Broadsheet

Rollingnews

Who are ‘the new nationalists’ ? (Prime Time)

Online.

And on the wireless.

Neil O’Gorman writes:

RTÉ is celebrating its partnership with Dublin Digital Pride and this year’s #virtualprideparade on Sunday 28th June, by hosting a special Pride weekend, on air and online, including two days of music, interviews and entertainment across RTÉ 2FM and two special RTÉ Concert Orchestra performances, and much more.

Saturday 27th June will also feature a special collaboration between 2FM and Mother, the popular LGBTQ+ club night, who will play an exclusive two-hour Pride weekend DJ set.

Dublin Digital Pride

This morning.

RTÉ has announced that an almost 30-hour production of James Joyce’s Ulysses will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra to celebrate Bloomsday on Tuesday,  June 16.

Anne Louise Foley writes:

The full dramatised production – originally broadcast in 1982 (top) to celebrate the centenary of Joyce, and totalling 29 hours and 45 minutes in duration – will begin at the same time as both Stephen Dedalus’ and Leopold Bloom’s journey through Dublin begins in the book: 8am on 16 June.

The production was recorded by Marcus MacDonald, directed by William Styles, and performed by the RTÉ Players, featuring Pegg Monahan, Patrick Dawson, Ronnie Walsh, Brendan Cauldwell, Colette Procter, Barbara McCaughey, Kate Minogue, Denis Staunton, Laurence Foster, Conor Farrington and Déirdre O’Meara….

Listen live on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, or via podcast here.

 

Oh yes.

This afternoon.

During RTÉ’s News At One, Sean Whelan reported on statistics which show 32,000 people with Covid-19 have died in the United Kingdom.

Mr Whelan said he would caution against saying that the UK “definitely has the highest death toll in Europe” given the different ways different countries are counting deaths.

He signed off with this bombshell:

“It is probable that the UK has the biggest death toll now but we can’t say that for certain. And unfortunately we are going to have to wait a while until the standard European statistical methodology of counting excess deaths, adjusted for age, at the end of the year come out.

At that point you can definitely blow the whistle and say that’s it, these people have won the European championships for dead people which is not a nice thing to be looking at.

It’s the only thing not cancelled this year.

Listen back in full here.

RTÉ in Donnybrook, Dublin 4

Tomorrow.

RTÉ will launch a “virtual memorial wall”.

It reports:

RTÉ is working with funeral directors around the country to curate a website that will allow families to pay tribute to and remember loved ones who have died due to Covid-19.

The virtual memorial wall will be supported by special memorial segments on RTÉ One television and RTÉ Radio One.

…there will be small moments during the day when presenters on RTÉ television and radio “will recite the names of some of the loved ones who have passed.”

Ireland Remembers: Virtual memorial wall for loved ones (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

RTÉ’s Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers 

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, host Bryan Dobson spoke to RTÉs Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers about the latest Covid-19 developments.

In relation to the current movement restrictions which are set to be in place until May 5, Mr Bowers said:

“There’s no specific date in May, or otherwise, when restrictions will be lifted, or what restrictions will be lifted.

“We simply do not know so it is very uncertain at this point and people shouldn’t be expecting a lifting or a wide lifting of restrictions anytime in the near future I think, I’d say, given the briefings we had yesterday.

“And Covid-19 is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. I mean that means for the years ahead it will be there in the community somewhere, moving as influenza is but obviously Covid-19 poses a different threat, an unparalleled threat.

“And so social distancing will continue until a vaccine is available. And a vaccine won’t be available, certainly you would think, for a year or more.

“There may be some restrictions but only where the evidence points to that and also when the system has the capacity for rapid, speedy testing of people and follow-up contract tracing quickly, that’s crucial.

“So what will be looking at? We’ll be looking at, in order for any restrictions to be lifted, you’d want the infection rate out there to be down below one, so that’s where one person is infecting less than another person. So it’s not spreading in the community. You’d also want to see admissions to intensive care down.

“You’d want to think about what activity could be safely resumed, where social distancing can be exercised and what’s working in other countries. That will be crucial.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: Locking Down Our Civil Liberties

EARLIER:


From top: Claire Byrne; question allegedly put to members of the public as part of an Amárach Research survey for RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live

This afternoon.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Bróin tweetz:

I am absolutely appalled by this question. Claire Byrne Live and RTÉ should withdraw this survey. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are actively excluding Sinn Féin from talks. Sinn Féin is doing everything we can to form a Government. Appalling bias here.

Meanwhile…

Anyone?

Um.

This afternoon.

RTÉ’s Mary Regan tweetz:

Four out of five (82%) Irish adults agree that the Government is doing a good job in handing Covid-19 with “strong agreement” with this far higher among older people, according to Behaviours and Attitude-commissioned survey for RTÉ.

Meanwhile…

Earlier: Unknown Knowns