Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reporting the Lenihan diagnosis

THE Sunday newspapers report a widespread adverse reaction by the public to the broadcasting of details of a medical diagnosis of an individual by TV3 News - a reaction that is not at all surprising.  If any of your readers are particularly infuriated about the reporting of this matter, or even distressed by the principle of such news reporting to the extent that they believe that it constitutes an infringement of the privacy of an individual, there is a potential remedy.  Members of the public may register a written complaint with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) under S48(1)(c) of the Broadcasting Act 2009.  This section covers the broadcasting of matters that contravenes the privacy of an individual.  It would be an appalling development were this type of voyeuristic news reporting to become a recurring feature of what would inevitably become a diminished standard of news dissemination in this country. 

Complaints must be made to the Authority in writing within 30 days of the date of broadcast in question and include a summary of the basis of the the complainant.  Full details of the appropriate procedure and the complaint form are available on the BAI web site at

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