Radical RTÉ shake up ahead of report

Published Tuesday, 03 April 2012
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RTÉ has announced a radical shake-up in its news and current affairs department.

Radical RTÉ shake up ahead of report
The news and current affairs department has been restructured. (© UTV)

The overhaul comes in anticipation of a Broadcasting Authority of Ireland report into a Prime Time Investigates programme, in which the Irish station defamed a Catholic priest.

In its A Mission to Prey documentary, RTÉ wrongly accused Co Galway churchman Father Kevin Rey of raping a teenager while he lived in Kenya - and fathering her child.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has carried out an investigation into how the programme was allowed to make air, with the findings expected soon.

On Tuesday, RTÉ announced a major restructuring of its news and current affairs department, with two senior men - Ed Mulhall and Ken O'Shea - leaving their posts.

A reporter and producer have also stepped aside and the Prime Time Investigates programme has been scrapped altogether.

Five senior posts, including two new editorial management posts, have been created, while all journalistic staff will be issued and trained in new guidelines.

RTÉ Director-General Noel Curran insists the restructuring will help make its journalism stronger, fairer and more transparent.

"The publication of these new structures and guidelines is, we hope, a key step in an important direction," Mr Curran said.

"The range of measures in these documents represents RTE's determination to make our journalism stronger, fairer and more transparent, and to reiterate our commitment to journalism as a core public service."

Mr Curran added that he cannot comment on the BAI investigation at this time.

However company executives will hoping the newly announced moves can lessen the impact of the impending report and go some way to improving its reputation with the viewing public.

© UTV News
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