RTÉ Prime Time election debate panel only serves to support status quo

Senator Ronan Mullen, European Election Candidate for the Midlands North West constituency has lodged a formal complaint with Noel Curran, Director General of RTÉ over the format of a planned debate on the European Elections to take place on Sunday night. The complaint was lodged following communications with the Prime Time production team during which the candidate’s concerns were not resolved.

 

Senator Mullen said:

 

“While organising a live television debate for a number of candidates can pose a challenge, I believe that the current format planned for Sunday night’s debate lessens the level of diversity on each debating panel and treats candidates unequally and unfairly. The current segregation of panels means that there will be only one consistently anti-government and EU-critical voice on the first panel. Also, the fact that half of the proposed panel would represent Fine Gael and Labour reduces the potential for criticism of the Government and its policies.”

 

“The requirements under the Broadcasting Acts are that RTÉ present a plurality of views within each broadcast. RTÉ has a statutory obligation to the viewing public, in particular during an election campaign, to give equal and fair representation.”

 

“The viewer deserves a full and fair opportunity to judge the various voices competing to represent him or her in the next European Parliament. The debate as currently proposed by RTÉ’s Prime Time team fails to deliver that opportunity,” Senator Mullen concluded.