Broadcasting Act 2009

PART 3

Broadcasters — Duties, Codes and Rules

39.

Duties of broadcasters.

39.— (1) Every broadcaster shall ensure that—

( a) 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,

( 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 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,

( c) in the case of sound broadcasters a minimum of—

(i) not less than 20 per cent of the broadcasting time, and

(ii) if the broadcasting service is provided for more than 12 hours in any one day, two hours of broadcasting time between 07.00 hours and 19.00 hours,

is devoted to the broadcasting of news and current affairs programmes, unless a derogation from this requirement is authorised by the Authority under subsection (3) ,

( d) anything which may reasonably be regarded as causing harm or offence, or as being likely to promote, or incite to, crime or as tending to undermine the authority of the State, is not broadcast by the broadcaster, and

( e) in programmes broadcast by the broadcaster, and in the means employed to make such programmes, the privacy of any individual is not unreasonably encroached upon.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) (a) or (b) prevents a broadcaster from transmitting party political broadcasts provided that a broadcaster does not, in the allocation of time for such broadcasts, give an unfair preference to any political party.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(c), the Authority may authorise a derogation from the requirement in question in whole or in part in the case of a sound broadcasting service but only if it is satisfied that the authorisation of such a derogation would be beneficial to the listeners of the sound broadcasting service.

(4) The sound broadcasting services established and maintained by RTÉ are deemed to be one sound broadcasting service for the purposes of subsection (1)(c).

(5) A broadcaster shall ensure that the broadcast treatment of any proposal, being a proposal concerning policy as regards broadcasting, which is of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, which is being considered by the Government or the Minister, shall be reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner.

(6) Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1), in so far as they require the broadcaster not to express his or her own views, do not apply to any broadcast made under subsection (5).