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RTÉ’s Liveline tops list for most complaints to broadcasting authority

RTÉ’S Liveline was the show most complained about last year to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), although none of the gripes raised by listeners about Joe Duffy’s programme have so far been upheld.

A total of 91 complaints were made to the authority last year, with RTÉ radio and television programmes the subject of more than two-thirds (63). None of the complaints have so far been successful, though the BAI said a handful remain under consideration.

Broadcasts on RTÉ Radio One drew the most complaints (35), followed by the TV station RTÉ One, over which there were 25.

An analysis by programme shows that RTÉ Liveline was the subject of 10 complaints, five of which were rejected and four of which were considered invalid, with one still pending.

Morning Ireland, Prime Time and Newstalk’s the Hard Shoulder were all joint second with five complaints each, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Acts.

There were four complaints about the Claire Byrne Live TV programme and the Six One News, none of which have been upheld so far.

With RTÉ accounting for most of the complaints, the only other broadcaster with a relatively high number was Newstalk with nine. There were also six complaints about Virgin Media One or Three and two lodged against Today FM.

Of the 91 total complaints made to the BAI, 39 were deemed invalid, 41 were rejected and a single case involving a local radio station was listed as “resolved”. Another 10 cases are yet to be decided upon, according to a database provided by the authority.

The number of complaints made was markedly down last year, more than halving from the 2021 figure of 206. Not all related to programmes with listeners and viewers also taking issue with some advertisements.

There was one complaint about Always menstrual products, which was deemed invalid by the authority. Another person objected to the ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ campaign by Women’s Aid, but there complaint was also deemed invalid. The file for a complaint lodged about an Aldi Christmas advert remains open.

A spokesman for RTÉ said: “While over two-thirds of broadcast complaints made to the BAI related to RTÉ, none of these have been upheld, with the vast majority being either rejected or invalid. This, in our view, highlights the consistently high editorial standards set by RTÉ.

“RTÉ welcomes and receives daily feedback from the public regarding RTÉ’s content and services through a range of channels, including the RTÉ Information Office and through the statutory Complaints process which is explained in detail on our website.” The Irish Times

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