Role of funding model in RTÉ must play central role in review

04 July 2023
  • Six months of RTÉ review must lead to serious reform

Labour Arts, Media and Workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock welcomed the publication of the terms of reference for the review into RTÉ, but said that the role of the RTÉ funding model in contributing to bad decision making must form a central part of the review.

Senator Sherlock:

“It is a relief to finally have the terms of reference, however it appears to me that what is missing from the review is a full understanding how RTÉ’s reliance on commercial revenue and on sponsorship deals shaped fee negotiations and contracts.

“We very much welcome the participation of Patricia King and Brendan McGinty to review how RTÉ engaged presenters and contractors, as well as the wider issue of employment culture and short term contracts.

“The nexus of agents, presenters, sponsorships deals and RTÉ editorial standards must form a key part of their analysis.

“Furthermore, there is an irony that after years of reports into RTÉ bogus self employment patterns, and more recently the Resolve report into workplace culture, that these issues have to be looked and reviewed again.

“The review of culture and corporate governance standards by Professor Niamh Brennan and Dr Margaret Cullen will be in very capable hands but the question of how this review will be coordinated and used is a major question for Government.

“We can’t lose sight of the point that the chronic funding crisis is what led RTÉ into its current disastrous state of affairs.

“Already the Government has set itself against the expert view of the Future of Media Commission on it’s recommendation of a new financing model. It then delegated to a technical working group the job of overhauling the licence fee and now it has been firmly put on the long finger until after the review is completed. This really is not acceptable, there is a funding deficit that has to be managed. Government cannot shirk their responsibility in this regard.”

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