Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brilliant Pearse - Now Marty don't fail us now

Peasrse Doherty made a brilliant speech in response to the budget and many more people in the South are now seeing Sinn Féin as a genuine alternative to the main parties.

Sinn Féin is seen to be fighting for the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised people of this country. Sinn Féin is seen to be offering a modern ecomic alternative to the market based policies that created the current world economic crisis. Sinn Féin is seen to be taking on the priviliged groups in this country and refusing to allow an economic elite to get away with making the working class pay for the mess we are in.

However, in the North Sinn Féin is in a postion of power and is being told by London to make budget cuts of 4 Billion pounds. If Sinn Féin agrees to implementing cuts of this nature, then what the hell are we doing down the South. We cannot oppose cuts in the South and implement them in the North. If we do we will loose all crediblility with the Irish people, and what is worse is that we will be seen as liars.

Sinn Féin must fight for working people North and South and it must refuse to implement the cuts in the Six counties.

Below is Pearse's speech and he outlines for me the direction Sinn Féin must go throughut the island.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Irish Citizen's News : FG & Labour "knowledge economy"

Irish Citizen's News is a punchy news blog providing short news stories and insights into current affairs. Worth bookmarking.

FG and Labour refuse to reverse cuts to students grants

Last night, the "government in waiting", Fine Gael and Labour could not make a promise to strickened students to reverse the cuts to their grants.

The Union of Students in Ireland is furious over the change which it claims will force many to drop out of college.

Anger is mounting over drastic cuts in grants for 25,000 students who will lose €1,700 each on average from next September.

The students will be forced onto lower grants because they live less than 45km from college.

Until now they got the higher 'non-adjacent' grant which kicked in at 24km from college.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fighting RTE censorship - making an official complaint

I came across a few things on Facebook about complaining over RTE bias and today I saw some more material and folks talking about the same so here is an overview of the process. If you dont like RTE bias or other media sources' treatment of Sinn Fein then politely and firmly challenge them. Use the mechanisms in place and within which they must react to put pressure on them. Who knows a multiple of favourable jdgements and things could change very quickly. Everyone can play their part.

Hope this helps some of you get complaints about RTE impartialty and force them to treat SF fairly.

For Broadcasters the relevant body is the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Complaining to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland:


Information on their site about the  complaints process

The Complaint Form to use

I would suspect the categories objectivity; impartiality in news , and fairness and objectivity, impartiality in current affairs would be the main ones relevant here.

Once you identify a broadcast that you believes infringes one of the above then you have under 30 days from the date of broadcast to submit your complaint.


When you complete the form it can be mailed, faxed or emailed.

Your must inform the BAI of the name of the programme/advertisement, station, date & time of the broadcast and what legislative requirement/code you feel the broadcaster has not adhered to

The Station name is like : RTE One.

The legislative requirement would be: Broadcasting Act 2009, section 48 (1)(a)(fairness, objectivity and impartiality in current affairs)

Programme name, date and time would be unique of course but make sure you use the correct name, date and time.
Seeing as how its impartiality thats the issue then that seems the best to use. Scroll down to the bottom to see some of the relevant legislation. Full link here - Irish broadcasting act
The specific point on which most complaints related to bias or impartiality against SF would be relate to F, O and I. In the making of any complaint it may be useful to repeat the language used by the BAI - they will have a language they use when assessing complaints and phrasing it using their language should be of benefit.

From the it states : Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality: There is a requirement that all news broadcast by a broadcaster is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views. In the treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy, or the subject of current public debate, broadcasters must ensure that they are fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast material is presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views

That paragraph is effectively the rules within which your complaint will be considered. In order to have a successful complaint then you would need to point out how the broadcaster failed in one of those criteria.

The BAI in turn will evaluate the complaint see and the programme to determine that "every reasonable effort to present a range of significant viewpoints to the matters under discussion and be fair to all interests concerned" has been made. Again a statement within your complaint that it was your belief that broadcaster x on programme Y did not make reasonable efffort to present different view points/ establish impartiality/etc would help to place your complaint within a suitable framework.

The BAI committee may choose to either fully accept, partialy accept or reject your complaint once it gets to the end process so it may be worthwhile specifiying a number of elements to your complaint as done in this example. These case records would prove useful templates for preparing a complaint

It would also seem to be a good idea that the segments of the programme which your complaint is centered around is referenced in your complaint i.e at 14:36 into the show the presenter said ...
This approach would help focus the committee's evaluation to certain areas which they should treat. The whole show though should still remain an element of a complaint as otherwise it may be they will reject the stated instances and a good case might be lost.
what hapens when you make a complaint: It will get sent to RTE who will have to reply .

Their response can either be accepted or rejected by the person making the complaint i.e you. In order for your complaint to go to the BAI's excutive complaint forum then you would have to write to the BAI and confirm you are unhappy at the broadcasters response. Once thats done they will analyse your case seriously, discuss it and determine whether they will formally make a judgement against the broadcaster in question. In order to make an impact on the broadcasting policy of RTE a successful formal judgement , or a series of such judgements would be needed meaning that rejecting the broadcasters response in order to achieve a formal review of your complaint would appear the best way to ensure RTE abandoned its biased policy.

as per the :
Initial consideration: if you are not happy with the response to your complaint, you can inform the BAI and your complaint will be given initial consideration by the BAI's Executive Complaint Forum. In this regard, all written material on file, together with the relevant recording of the broadcast will be considered in a collagaite manner by the Forum. If the Forum determines that the issues as raise by you are not borne out by the broadcasting content, the complaint will be considered resolved. If the Forum decides that there are complaint issues borne out by the broadcasting content which require further consideration, the complaint will be referred to the Compliance Committee for assessment.

Compliance Committee: In assessing a complaint, the Authority considers all written material on file together with the relevant broadcast material. The issues are discussed in a collegiate manner at a meeting of the Compliance Committee. If the Committee agrees with the complaint, it will be upheld. If the Committee disagrees, the complaint will be rejected.

A copy of the decision will be sent to the complainant and the broadcaster before its publication

The legislation also provides that broadcasters must broadcast decisions of the Compliance Committee where a complaint has been fully or partially upheld. Broadcasts of this nature must be made within 21 days of the Compliance Committee issuing its decision

48 a

) a complaint that in broadcasting news given by it and specified in the complaint, a broadcaster did not comply with one or more of the requirements of section 39(1)(a) and (b) (

b ) a complaint that in broadcasting a programme specified in the complaint, a broadcaster either did not comply with one or more of these requirements or was in breach of  the prohibition contained in section 39(1)(d)

C  ) a complaint that on an occasion specified in the complaint, there was an encroachment by a broadcaster contrary to section 39(1)(e)
d  ) a complaint that on an occasion specified in the complaint,

a broadcaster failed to comply with a provision of a broadcasting code providing for the matters referred to
in section 42(2)(a) to (d) and section 42(2)(f), (g) and (h)

(2) A complaint under subsection (1) shall be in writing and be
made to the Compliance Committee not more than 30 days after—
a  ) in case the complaint relates to one broadcast, the date of the broadcast,(

b ) in the case of 2 or more unrelated broadcasts, the date of the earlier or earliest, as the case may be, of those broadcasts, or

) in case the complaint relates to 2 or more related broadcasts of which at least 2 are made on different dates, the later or latest of those dates.

(3) The Compliance Committee may, at their discretion, refer the complaint in the first instance to the broadcaster, for consideration in accordance with a code of practice prepared under
section 47(3)
 Section 39:


) all news broadcast by the broadcaster is reported and

presented in an objective and impartial manner and without

any expression of the broadcaster’s own views,


) the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including

matters which are either of public controversy or the subject

of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned

and that the broadcast matter is presented in an

objective and impartial manner and without any

expression of his or her own views, except that should it

prove impracticable in relation to a single broadcast to

apply this paragraph, two or more related broadcasts may

be considered as a whole, if the broadcasts are transmitted

within a reasonable period of each other,