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Political Communication in the Republic of Ireland$
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Mark O’Brien and Donnacha Ó Beacháin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380277

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380277.001.0001

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date: 23 October 2017

Equal time for Judas Iscariot? Broadcast treatment of political contests in the Republic of Ireland

Equal time for Judas Iscariot? Broadcast treatment of political contests in the Republic of Ireland

Chapter:
Chapter Ten Equal time for Judas Iscariot? Broadcast treatment of political contests in the Republic of Ireland
Source:
Political Communication in the Republic of Ireland
Author(s):

Colum Kenny

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781380277.003.0011

This chapter examines the statutory requirements for fairness, objectivity and impartiality in the broadcast treatment of political contests, including referenda, in the Republic of Ireland. It considers the ways in which legislative provisions have been interpreted by those whose duty it is to prepare related guidelines for broadcasters. It also considers the basis for a number of challenges to the legislation and to interpretations under it, and asks whether the law has an unreasonable impact on media coverage and political communication, not least by ensuring that ostensibly unrepresentative groups have access to the airwaves to an extent that some broadcasters might not otherwise permit. It concludes that while what constitutes fairness, objectivity and impartiality is often the subject of dispute, the right of all sides to have their views aired is central to any democratic system.

Keywords:   broadcast regulation, McKenna judgment, Coughlan judgment, referenda campaigns, presidential elections, social media, Ireland

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