( Selected extracts)
This Act established the Independent Radio and Television Commission, for the purpose of licencing sound broadcasting services and a television service, additional to those provided by RTE.
It also created a duty on sound broadcasters to ensure objectivity and impartiality in news and current affairs broadcasts, similar to that applying to RTE.
S.9 of this Act is similar to s.18 of the 1960 Act, as
amended. The public can similarly submit a complaint to the BCC,
and a number did so, and had cases decided by the BCC in year ended 31
This Act extended s.18 of the 1960 Act, (see below), and also established the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.
That part of the 1976 Act which dealt with the BCC (s.4), was replaced by s.24(?) of the 2001 Act, with substantially the same provisions.
This Act established RTE and enabled it to provide a national television and sound broadcasting service.
Section 18(1), as amended by s.3 of the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act, 1976:
s.18(1) - "Subject to subsection (1A) of this section, it shall be the duty of the Authority to ensure that -
(b) 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 the Authority's own views."
1. Section 18 of the Broadcasting Authority Act, 1960, was not changed by the Broadcasting Act 2001 Act, (except for provisions which related to the Broadcasting Compliants Commission), and remains in force.
2. Subsection 18A of Section 18 (1) referred to above was, together with subsections 18B and 18C, repealed and replaced by s.24(?) of the 2001 Act.
3. For all practical purposes, the BCC can only entertain a
complaint relating to news (or current affairs), an item likely to
promote crime, etc, encroachment on privacy, breach of taste and decency
code, or assertion of inaccurate facts. (see s24(?) of Broadcasting
2. Obligations to public
2.1 Broadcasting must generally reflect the mores and respect the values of the society in which it operates, acknowledging its standards of taste, decency and justice. It cannot, therefore, be just a channel for any and all opinions, nor can it be neutral in its basic philospphy and attitudes. It must, however, be impartial. It must seek to widen and deepen the knowledge of the audience in programming which includes such critical examination of public issues as is considered necessary to fulfil the needs of impartial and objective enquiry.
2.2 It is recognised that the selection of material for broadcasting is inescapably bound up with the standards of the programme-maker. The process of selection should be carried out with the intention of fully informing society and not with the intention of giving expression to the views of the individual programme-maker.
4. News Bulletins
4.2 Objectivity is seen as the setting forth of an actual external situation, uncoloured by the feelings or subjective views of the broadcaster.
4.3 Impartiality is seen as being fair and just in
reporting and presenting the facts without favouring any particular interest
or interests involved.
Minor update: 23 March 2002
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