Further to a very clear and helpful conversation with Maria Murphy from your office yesterday 05/02/2013, wherein she described to me the complaints process within the BAI, which were as I expected they should be, but in light of my recent experience with RTE, where whatever procedure was carried out seems to have been at best cursory and also secretive, it was good to have a reassurance of a professional independent evaluative standard.
I wish to submit a formal complaint to the BAI. There are two separate elements to my complaint.
1. Firstly I wish to register my dissatisfaction with the outcome of my complaint about The Frontline TV programme of 07/01/2013, which I lodged with RTE on the 5th and 6th of February last.
2. Secondly I wish to complain to the BAI about how I have been treated as a complainant by RTE, both in their failure to revert to me after an initial reading of my complaint (which I had requested), their provision to me of the most minimal information about the procedure they carried out in the blank refusal to respond to my clear, reasonable, and unequivocal questions.
In order to assist the evaluation of my complaint, I refer you to the three following hyperlinks to short YouTube videos, presented with differing levels of granularity in support of my complaint:-
RTE Frontline video complaint. Words, integrity and accuracy are arbitrary. - YouTube
RTE Frontline Complaint video evidence analysis with transcribed captions - YouTube
Frontline RTE1 TV 7th January, 2013, a new low in Public Service Broadcasting - YouTube
Essentially, I supplied RTE with a transcript (for details see my original complaint herein), which I had prepared of the relevant section of the program, and in my complaint I formally request that that the reader, having reviewed the footage (available to them on their system), revert to me confirming whether my transcript was truthful and accurate or not, before either progressing or processing my complaint. This request of mine was not heeded.
Instead, RTE emailed to me a short note, which was later confirmed to me as being the final outcome of their “complaints procedure”, which is blatantly and self evidently a perverted mis-construction of the reality of that program. Worse than that, RTE quite falsely have suggested that I mentioned that there was a “confused discussion about the terms which had been used” (see below):-
“You are correct that in the programme you mention one panellist quoted another incorrectly and that there was a confused discussion about the terms which had been used. ..”
I have compiled for your ease of access and navigation all of the relevant material at my disposal into this PDF document which I submit for your consideration. I formally request that you revert to me, if there is any information lacking, either in clarity or equivocation. I stress that I am happy to make myself available for any oral hearings on this matter that may emerge.
As I explained to Maria Murphy, I was unsuccessful, when browsing the broadcaster act 2009, in identifying specific words which required broadcasters to adhere to accuracy and/or truth and in this regard I have specifically relied on the internal standards documents recently renewed and reviewed and purportedly implemented in RTE. I trust that the concept of truth and accuracy particularly in current affairs public service media is a fundamental prerequisite even if the act as explicitly silent on the matter.
Specifically I complain that under:-
- Section 39 1 a, RTE did not manage and/or present both the dispute between Pat Rabbitte and Brenda Power and the imposed a resolution by Pat Kenny of an incorrect solution, in the name of “consensus”, having due regard for objectivity and impartiality.
- Section 39 1 b, by facilitating three sequential and consecutive falsehoods, and particularly by doing so claiming legitimacy from the “consensus”, which I submit to represent both the audience and viewers such as myself, RTE acted in an unfair manner to both the conflicting panellists, the audience, the viewers and particularly the fundamental concept of truth and accuracy. By failing to use what I believe should have been a readily available reviewing software to confirm what had actually been said, either during the programme itself, or in a post review process, I submit that RTE displayed a callous disregard for the public interest, in light of the very theme of that particular program.
- Section 39 1 d, RTE by their failure to act in a professional, open and responsible manner in relation to this program, have caused harm and/or offence to viewers, who retain any level of interest in the relevance and importance of the accuracy in the use of language and that by reference to the quotation from Confucius, that such behaviour is conducive to “tending to undermine the authority of the State”.
Liam Ó Gógáin
E-mail address:- firstname.lastname@example.org
MOB:- 00353 87-254 3997
The full Complaint Documentation can be viewed and downloaded at:-