European Parliament Elections:
1. The Workers' Party made a complaint regarding the ongoing exclusion of the legitimate viewpoint of the Workers' Party from the National airwaves, i.e. RTE radio and television.
2. The Workers' Party stated that they are a democratically constituted political party and received over 100,000 votes in the last European and general elections.
3. It was submitted on behalf of the Workers' Party that on the 26th August 1992 the Workers' Party held a peaceful march outside Government Buildings between 2.30pm and 3.30pm to protest at the lack of Government action to create jobs. About 40 people took part led by Cllr. Tomas Mac Giolla T.D.. No other group was represented outside Government Buildings at that particular time and the Workers' Party co-operated with the reporter on the scene.
4. The Six One News that evening reported that protesters were outside government buildings at the time of the Cabinet meeting. No mention was made of the Workers' Party or that Cllr.Tomas Mac Giolla led the protest.
5. The Workers' Party were of the opinion that this was
an attempt by RTE to block The Workers' Party and Tomas Mac Giolla from
receiving news coverage and was contrary to Section 18(a) of the Broadcasting
Authority Act 1960 (No 10 of 1960) and the Broadcasting Authority Amendment
act 1976 (No 37 of 1976).
1. RTE in its response stated that the purpose of the RTE News item was to cover a crisis Cabinet meeting on the jobs situation at Government Buildings on the 26th August 1992. RTE stated that when covering such events as Cabinet Meetings it concentrated on that main event rather than on any demonstration of protesters outside Government Buildings. The picket was, however referred to and The Workers' Party placards were clearly shown in the filmed report.
2. News staff considered that this was sufficient in view of the fact that the demonstration was relatively small and also, that The Workers' Party, at that time, had only one Deputy in Dail Eireann.
3. In previous correspondence with the Workers Party,
RTF pointed out that The Workers' Party could not be given the same
prominence that would normally be afforded to bigger Political Parties
and that the activities of The Workers' Party was covered in the context
of it being a small party in size and representation. RTE was satisfied
that its broadcast report on the 26th August could not be construed as
being in breach of its statutory obligations under the Broadcasting Authority
Decision of the Commission
1. The Commission viewed the 'Six One News' broadcast and found that the Workers party had no grounds for complaint as the item in question was a news report on the cabinet meeting about the jobs situation.
2. The Commission agreed with RTE that the picket was referred to and The Workers Party's placards were clearly shown in the filmed report.
3. The Commission found no breach of Section 18(a) of the Broadcasting Act. The Complaint was therefore dismissed.