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Dublin - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

'Whatever you say , say nothing...'

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | event notice author Monday November 19, 2007 16:45author by Sharon . - Individual . Report this post to the editors

(Self-)Censorship in RTE .

It appears that - whatever the issue - you can depend on RTE to leave you guessing...
Oppose censorship - Saturday 1st December 2007.
Oppose censorship - Saturday 1st December 2007.

Hi !

An anti-censorship picket will be held on the RTE Studios in Donnybrook, Dublin , on Saturday December 1st , 2007 , from 12 Noon to 1.30pm .
As a publicly-funded institution , RTE leaves a lot to be desired : the coverage it provides could be said to be based on the political 'prevailing winds' of the day . It has consistently and spectacularly failed to either report on what it apparently views as 'delicate' issues or will cover same in a light which is favourable to its own administration and the administration-of-the-day in Leinster House .
Regardless of the importance of the issue - whether it concerns the political situation in the north-east of this isle * , the 'Shell To Sea' issue** or the State Health Service (or lack of same) *** , RTE , it seems , will do its utmost to spare the blushes of its political colleagues and part-paymasters in Kildare Street .
With this in mind , an anti-censorship picket will be placed on the RTE Studios in Donnybrook , Dublin , on Saturday 1st December 2007 , between the hours of 12 Noon and 1.30pm . If you can't make it on the day , check-back here on this thread on the following day where I will publish a piece on how the picket went . Just don't expect it to be covered on RTE.....

Thanks ,

Sharon.

(*http://www.indymedia.ie/article/44480)
(** http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83416)
(***http://cp1302ger.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/did-the-gover...-rte/)

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by K. Harris - Newsmedianews.compublication date Mon Nov 19, 2007 17:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sharon - its all very well doing this but the real issue is that RTE is NOT a publicly funed body and should not be referred to as such - though they and the government would have us believe so.

Publicly funded broadcast networks do NOT carry broadcast paid advertising and do not draw revenue from broadcast advertising.

The imposition of a licence fee for television has become corrupted over the years. A licence fee is only valid and legal when the organisation RELIES on public funding or government grants ALONE to survive (aka the BBC networks). That is not the case with ANY television network or radio network in Ireland. All fill their coffers from advertising revenue.

What is needed is for a case to be made in court, either in Ireland or in the EU, against the validity of the Irish TV licence requirement.

author by Sharon . - Individualpublication date Mon Nov 19, 2007 19:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Keith !

In regards to RTE 'not being a publicly-funded body' - tell that to those who (now) 'pay' it €160 a year (ie those with a television set in their house/flat/apartment).
And tell it to RTE - " Licence fee revenue is used to fund RTÉ's public service activities..... some of RTÉ's public service activities receive complete public funding... " (http://www.rte.ie/about/licence.html)

You stated - "Publicly funded broadcast networks do NOT carry broadcast paid advertising and do not draw revenue from broadcast advertising."
Perhaps you meant 'should not' ?

My main point - and apologises , Keith , if I didn't make it clear in my first post - is that , as presently constituted , RTE output is not value for money , nor is it representative of what I , and , I believe [hope?] many others , would consider the important issues affecting people in this State .
As you yourself have stated elsewhere , Keith - "The primary objectives of news reporting should be two-fold , to inform and to entertain."
To my mind , RTE fails on both of those objectives.

And 'Skew' - thanks for the good wishes . I agree with your post.

Thanks Keith and 'Skew' ,
Slán go fóill anois ,

Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Oulfellapublication date Mon Nov 19, 2007 23:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE operates under the Public Broadcasting Act. Like any law it has to be obeyed or fines/sanctions/imprisonment will follow - right? Wrong!
In cases where it is decided by The Broadcasting Complaints Commission that RTE has breached the Act, broken the Law, it is subject to no more than a mild rebuke. To my knowledge RTE has never been fined for breaches of the law under the present or previous Broadcasting Acts.

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2001/en/act/pub/0004/ind....html

If state interference, censorship or bias is ever proven nothing effective can be done unless the government so decides.

The law in this case is an absolute Ass.

Good luck with the picket but I believe the only time anybody was effective against RTE was back in 1992 when a renegade bishop (Cox, I think) performed an exorcism of RTE. It promptly closed down for 6 weeks. I kid you not :>)

author by Sharon . - Individual .publication date Tue Nov 20, 2007 07:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Oulfella !

Methinks the good Bishop you referred to left before the job was finished !

If , by our protest , we can at least remind the powers-that-be in RTE (and their fellow 'suits' in Kildare Street) that some of those who part-finance their operation are not satisfied with their output , then we will , I think , have achieved something .

Thanks for your good wishes regarding the up-coming protest !

Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by paul o toolepublication date Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Start a campaign of people who are willing to refuse to pay for a tv licence.
Questions and answers is a staged managed play performed every monday night to woo the public into the belief that they live in an open democracy and that debate is wide open- nothing coukld be further from the truth.

Prime time is another drama event ignoring the issues facing the nation.
They constantly have 'spokespersons' speaking for the person they should be speaking to, and they never ask for credentials on these individuals....
The spokesperson for Dublin C.C. in relation to the Stardust was a lovley english man who said he 'gladly refutes' evidence from three individuals stating the fire was well under way when they saw it contrary to the tribunals findings of 'probable arson' which allowed the owners Butterly Enterprises off the hook for negligence. They helped the cover up.

Miriam O callaghan said ... 'before we get down to the substantive issues'....and then failed to talk about them only focussing on the emotive stuff which is a great way to deflect debate.....The issue....the giving away of 410 billion euro of Irish gas to Shell and Statoil.

When she has anyone on speaking for the Iraqi people she prevents them from talking without extracting an answer from them to the question..'Do you condem suicide bombing'....??... any attempt to balance the debate is shut down with the comment...'all right you heard it here, they dont condem suicide bombing. Miriam never states wether or not she condems stealth bombing , carpet bombing etc... but she has 15 kids and you just have to love her...dont you ..even if she supports this new facism called bush by NEVER questioning his motives.

Pat Kenny posed the question...this is a good one.....'Should WE ALLOW Muslims wear the Hijab.....or.....or should WE send them back home'??. this is after jack straw refused to see women wearing a veil in his c onstituency office one fine day when he happened to be throwing his hat in the ring for blairs job.
Kenny never asked why straw never had a problem for the last 26 years in his constituency office about veils. And of course john waters was on hand to ask if anyone who opposed the question supported suicide bombers.....more facist supporters..

author by Sharon . - Individual .publication date Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Paul !

Good post - it hits the nail on the head !

Hopefully , the picket on RTE might be a 'starting point' by those supporting same to lead to the position where the TV licence fee could be 'used' as leverage in a campaign to 'encourage' (in this instance) RTE to give fuller coverage to both sides of an issue . I think it would be a mistake to start from 'standing still' with a 'Withhold-Your-Licence-Fee-Now' campaign - perhaps better to build any such proposed campaign up to that level ?
However , I would imagine that any such 'licence fee campaign' would depend on the level of support shown for 'smaller' actions beforehand.

I was in the audience twice in the past year on the 'Questions And Answers' programme and each time came away disappointed - before entering the studio ,audience members are taken , in the one group , to a hospitality room (tea , coffee and biscuits) where they are asked to submit , in writing , four or five questions which they would like to ask the Panel . If you are not picked at that stage you will not later (ie 'On Air') be allowed ask a question - your only 'hope' of doing so is if the Chairperson (Mr Bowman) chooses you from people in the audience who have signalled (by raising their hands) that they would like to comment on a reply given by a Panel member to an 'allowed' question which has been put to him/her . However , even then , the Chairperson will interrupt your question and move on to the next 'allowed' question , as you are not one of the 'chosen few' .

The other programmes you mention (and indeed programmes on other TV and Radio stations) will use the 'time-doesn't-allow' ploy to spare the blushes of the 'figure-head' being interviewed : for instance , TV/Radio station 'Y' has announced that 'Politician X' will be the guest on a programme which starts in 30 minutes , so you telephone/text/e-mail in your comment/question only to have same completely ignored or for the presenter to eventually declare - "Well , Sharon has been in touch with a question/comment for 'Politician X' in connection with the North/Tara/Shell but unfortunately 'Politician X' has just left the studio..."
I have lost count of the number of times that that ploy/excuse has been used against me !

I agree with you too , Paul , in that the questions put to a studio guest will be 'loaded' depending on the variable political/social/economic dimensions favoured by the presenter and/or the organisation s/he works for .
Which is not good enough when money from the public purse is involved .
Hoping for a solid turn-out on Saturday 1st December next !

Thanks !

Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon . - Individual .publication date Thu Nov 29, 2007 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

The Republican Sinn Fein organisation has confirmed its intention to place an 'Anti-Censorship Picket' on RTE's main Dublin Office -

' For release
29ú Samhain/November 2007
Our Voice Will Not Be Silenced
Statement by RSF Publicity Officer Richard Walsh

Republican Sinn Féin have announced that they are to picket RTÉ 's Montrose
Headquarters in Dublin on Saturday, 1st December. RSF National Publicity
Officer, Richard Walsh, said that the protest was intended to counter-act
censorship by the Broadcaster.

During the Stormont election campaign within the Six Occupied Counties
preceding the March 7th poll, and our recent (103rd) Ard-Fheis in Dublin, RTÉ
sought to deny us our voice. What is allegedly the National Broadcaster has
effectively reintroduced the anti-democratic provisions of Section 31 of the
Broadcasting Act in a bid to silence those opposed to the erosion of Irish
National identity.

We, as the oldest political organisation in the country, are determined to
prevent the continuation of this policy. As such, we urge fellow citizens to
defend Republican and democratic values by assembling at Nutley Lane,
Donnybrook, Dublin 4 at 12 Noon. A letter will also be handed in to the
Director General of RTE and the RTE Authority.

ENDS '


Hoping for a decent-sized turnout,

Thanks!

Sharon.

Anti-Censorship Picket , Saturday December 1 , 2007.
Anti-Censorship Picket , Saturday December 1 , 2007.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon . - Individual .publication date Fri Nov 30, 2007 21:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

Oscar Wilde once said -
" Journalism, except in a few well-known instances, having been carried to such excesses of brutality, is still a great factor, a really remarkable power. The tyranny that it proposes to exercise over people's private lives seems to me to
be quite extraordinary. The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands. In centuries before ours the
public nailed the ears of journalists to the pump. That was quite hideous. In this century journalists have nailed their own ears to the keyhole. That is much worse. "


Simply because there exists a demand for what Mr Wilde may well have been referring to ie 'Lowest Common Denominator'-style(?) reportage/coverage , where the lives/love interest of soap stars etc is given prominence over more serious issues , shouldn't mean that coverage of the latter must suffer. But , I believe , that is the position of these matters today , and our 'national broadcaster' is proving to be just as capable as the 'independents' at ignoring real issues in favour of the more fashionable 'LCD'-type 'news' .
Tomorrows picket is going ahead as planned .

Thanks ,
Sharon.

Anti-Censorship Picket , Saturday December 1 , 2007.
Anti-Censorship Picket , Saturday December 1 , 2007.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sharon . - Individualpublication date Sat Dec 01, 2007 17:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi !

The anti-censorship picket on RTÉ went ahead today as planned : between twenty and thirty protestors , with leaflets , placards , a banner and a hand-held loud-hailer stood and/or marched outside the Nutley Lane entrance of the RTÉ premises .
The 8 degree temperature of the weather , plus the strong , chilly wind , and the icy rain , kept - for the most part - the four Special Branch 'operatives' in their cars but , like us , the six uniformed Garda were without shelter !
Good support was received from members of the public walking/driving past , and 'thumbs-up' signals were noticed from the drivers and passengers of some of the cars driving out of the premises itself.
A letter of protest (see below) was handed-in to RTÉ management by the President of Republican Sinn Féin , Ruairí Ó Brádaigh .
A proper report of this assembly will be published in the December 2007 issue of 'Saoirse' , which will be on sale from the fifth of this month .
Text of Protest Letter -
"An tArd Stiúrthóir RTÉ / Director-General RTÉ
Údarás RTÉ / RTÉ Authority
Donnybrook
Dublin 4

Litir Oscailte/ Open Letter

A cháirde

Beatha agus sláinte ! In recent years RTÉ has failed to give publicity to the oldest political organisation in Ireland , ie Republican Sinn Féin , which was founded in 1905 . Following the ending of official censorship under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act in 1994 , a limited amount of air time was given occasionally to the organisation .

However even this has now been withheld . The most glaring examples of such during the year 2007 have been the Stormont elections and the Ard Fheis of November 10 and 11 .

In February and March Republican Sinn Féin , finding that there was no longer a political test oath required for nomination in the elections referred to , put forward six candidates . These were nominated in six constituencies : East Derry , West Tyrone , Mid-Ulster , Fermanagh-South Tyrone , Upper Bann and West Belfast .

Our organisation , its candidates and their vigorous election campaign were totally ignored by RTÉ throughout February and March . Indeed , on polling day , March 7 , writer and commentator Joe Tiernan, speaking on the TG4 current affairs programme 'Seacht Lá', said that there was a black-out on publicity for Republican Sinn Féin and that there appeared to have been an agreement between the various channels to this effect .

Our 103rd annual Ard Fheis was held during November . Over 150 delegates from the 32 Counties with representatives from England , Scotland and New York gathered in Dublin and debated more than 100 resolutions over a weekend . There was not a single reference to this on RTÉ television or radio during the two days , November 10 and 11 . Yet that same weekend very full coverage was given to British Army commemoration ceremonies held in various parts of Ireland .

RTÉ's claim to be a national broadcaster is shown to be hollow as they refuse to allow all points of view to be represented on air . An anti-national agenda which seeks to normalise English rule in Ireland is being promoted while at the same time the outlook of that section of the Irish people who still value our language , culture and history is largely ignored .

Republican Sinn Féin is a political organisation which opposes British rule and the enforced division of Ireland . It give voice to the age-old aspiration of the Irish people for national independence . RTÉ is attempting to silence that voice .

In protest against this attitude of RTÉ , Republican Sinn Féin have announced that they will picket RTÉ's Montrose headquarters in Dublin on Saturday , December 1 at 12 noon , assembling at Nutley Lane , Donnybrook . We call on Irish people to support our stand for freedom of speech .

Ar son na h-eagraíochta .

Is mise

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh
President
Republican Sinn Féin . "


Text of leaflet distributed to the public -
" Since the ending of censorship under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act the 26-County state does not officially have a broadcast ban on Irish Republicans. However the reality is that the state broadcaster RTÉ refuses to give airtime to those who oppose the continued British occupation and partition of Ireland .

Despite fielding six candidates in the Six-County Stormont elections in March 2007 , Republican Sinn Féin was ignored by RTÉ for the entire election campaign . On polling day , March 7 , writer and commentator Joe Tiernan, speaking on the TG4 current affairs programme 'Seacht Lá', said that there was a "complete block" on publicity for Republican Sinn Féin and that there appeared to be an agreement between the various channels to this effect .

On November 10 and 11 this year Republican Sinn Féin held its 103rd Ard Fheis , on the same weekend RTÉ reported and promoted British army remembrance ceremonies throughout Ireland whilst refusing to cover the national conference of the oldest political organisation in Ireland .

RTÉ lays claim to be the 'national broadcaster' yet they refuse to allow all points of view to be represented on air . An anti-national agenda which seeks to normalise British rule in Ireland is widely promoted while at the same time the outlook of that section of the Irish people who still value our language , culture and history is largely ignored . Republican Sinn Féin is the only political organisation which opposes British rule and the enforced division of Ireland . We give voice to the age-old aspiration of the Irish people for Irish national independence . RTÉ are attempting to silence that voice . The Republican voice will be heard ."


Thanks!

Sharon.

RSF Protest Letter and leaflets.
RSF Protest Letter and leaflets.

Liam and Matt fighting over the country...
Liam and Matt fighting over the country...

Keeping warm behind the banner...
Keeping warm behind the banner...

Blocking the RTÉ Sign(al)...
Blocking the RTÉ Sign(al)...

Between a placard and a hard place!
Between a placard and a hard place!

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Sineádpublication date Mon Dec 03, 2007 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was one of those that drove past this protest and sounded the car horn and waved in support- was going to stop and join in but the special branch would have got my details.
my job and family would not have appreciated the resulting visit!

thanks for posting the detail of the leaflet , i got one from one of the ladies as did every one in the traffic jam but it got blown out the other window when i drove down the road a bit.

keep up the good work.

author by Sharon . - Individual .publication date Mon Dec 03, 2007 19:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Sineád !

Thank you for your post - we got great support from those driving , walking and cycling by but , as with yourself , most were afraid to stay with us for longer than it took them to say a few supportive words as they were aware of the presence of the Special Branch .

Perhaps that is also the reason why an RTE TV crew never came out to enquire as to
our protest ;-) !

Thanks again !

Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by JTpublication date Tue Jan 07, 2014 20:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Joe Tiernan, Journalist wishes to inform internet readers that he has never, ever mentioned censorship by any section of the media while speaking on TG4 at anytime since TG4 was set up in 1996. He has never, ever spoken about Sinn Fein or any other Republican Party on TG4 or any other TV channel. The reference to Joe Tiernan on this site is a scurrilous lie and an attempt to damage his reputation. Joe Tiernan is an independent Journalist and a Supporter of the Labour Party all his life.

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