Belfast Telegraph

RTE review after Twitter affair

RTE has launched an internal review of how it carries out live shows before an audience in the wake of the Frontline tweet row.

In a statement, the broadcaster outlined a number of actions it has taken as a result of the controversy over last year's televised presidential debate.

These include: a full editorial review of programme-making practices and risks, particularly focusing on live audience-based shows, the selection of audience members and questions; Rob Morrison, UTV's former head of news and content, has been appointed to examine these issues in relation to The Frontline presidential debate show, and a review of events and decisions involved in the handling of tweets received in the October 24 programme.

Other actions taken include an internal review of human resources matters connected with The Frontline tweet complaint, including a staff investigation.

An internal editorial standards board is to be set up at the national broadcaster, charged with upholding and monitoring content standards, and a new set of programme makers' guidelines is also being finalised, spearheaded by Stephen Whittle, former controller of editorial policy at the BBC, to include new social media protocols.

An RTE spokesman said it has also offered a detailed account of its interactions with audience member Pat McGuirk, drawn from staff notes of their conversations with him.

"RTE has accepted the BAI decisions last week in full and has apologised for its failures," he said. "RTE remains subject to governance by its Government-appointed board, and to regulatory review by the BAI, its statutory regulator.

"RTE will comply openly and honestly with requests for compliance, regulation and proper disclosure."

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