NUJ seeks blacklisting probe on O'Brien's radio stations
6 October 2017
The National Union of Journalists has called on Communicorp to reconsider the ban on Irish Times journalists on media outlets owned by the group.
Communicorp the Denis O’Brien-controlled radio group, which owns the country’s only two national commercial broadcasters, has instructed its staff that no Irish Times journalists should appear on its programmes.
The union has also welcomed the statement that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is to investigate the decision of the company to impose an across-the-board ban on the journalists.Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary said:
“The decision of Communicorp vindicates the opposition of the NUJ to the original decision to allow Communicorp to own two national, independent commercial broadcasting organisations. We expressed concerns at the potential for abuse of the company’s dominant position and our concerns have been proven to be well founded. A blanket ban across all stations raises fundamental questions about editorial independence at Newscorp.
"A polite note from the BAI will not be sufficient. The authority needs to investigate editorial procedures at the station to see who else may be the subject of official blacklisting for holding views which do not find favour with the company. We note that the BAI has written to the company and the development will be discussed at the October meeting of the authority.
"There is no place for blacklisting in the media. The ban is damaging to the reputation of radio stations whose staff deserve the right to exercise independent editorial judgement. It is also entirely disproportionate and will punish the company’s own producers and journalists who wish to use Irish Times journalists as sources of comment and information."