29 June 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
RTÉ To Publish Five-Year Strategy As Future of Irish TV Industry Debated
10 Sep 2012 : By Steve Cummins
Dr Finola Doyle-O'Neill opened the TV50 event
RTÉ is to publish a “fully costed five-year strategy” by the end of the year that will “clearly indicate how RTÉ will change and reform” and outline the broadcaster’s view of “what we think the future will be how we think we should face that future,” RTÉ director general Noel Curran told TV50 delegates at University College Cork over the weekend.

Mr Curran said that the report would set out RTÉ’s commitments to the public and would outline the “channels and services we wish to offer the public” as well as including details on the platforms on which its content will be delivered.

Delivering the keynote speech at the day-long conference on television, the director general outlined how the Irish broadcasting landscape had changed over the past five years and noted that television in Ireland was now facing into a “period of profound uncertainty, change and challenge.”

He highlighted the changing advertising landscape and the change in how people watch and interact with television content, citing to the growth of online viewing figures for shows such as ‘Republic of Telly’ and the surge in the use of social media during live TV events.

Mr Curran also raised the issue of the Government’s proposed “household media charge” and questioned as to if it would “significantly increase the amount of public funding available”.

He added: “Could or should it [the proposed charge] provide the opportunity for a recalibration of its public income versus its commercial income” adding that RTÉ was open to “extensive examination and debate” on this and other issues.

Despite the changing landscape, however, Mr Curran said “there is one constant in all this change – the power of content, the impact of the creative mind.”

He added: “We must continue to invest in programmes and programme-makers, both in RTÉ and in the independent sector. We must prioritise investment in the creativity of all those who work for us.”

Mr Curran’s address followed that of Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte, who said that the need for a well funded State broadcaster is essential given the globalisation of the television market.

Minister Rabbitte also highlighted the “huge challenges” to all Irish broadcasters in the current media landscape, noting how they had to compete with the world, yet still cater to the local market in this new digital age. He added that “the market for television advertising in Ireland is getting incredibly crowded”.

However, the minister seemed to warn against the distribution of the licence fee outside of RTÉ saying that it was not a solution to the drop in advertising revenues.

As well as representatives from RTÉ, the TV50 event in UCC – which was streamed online - also featured delegates from TG4 and TV3. Dr Finola Doyle-O'Neill, lecturer in Irish Film & Media History at UCC, opened the conference.

The future of broadcast journalism was debated by a panel that included Michael Lally, head of Irish-language news at RTÉ & TG4 and David McCullagh, political correspondent with RTÉ.

Steve Carson, director of programmes at RTÉ television; Moya Doherty, producer and director at River Productions and Ben Frow, director of programmes at TV3, took part in a debate on the cultural role of television.

Finally, Glen Killane, managing director of RTÉ television; Niall Kitson, editor of TechCentral.ie; Hugh Linehan, online editor of The Irish Times; and David McRedmond, CEO TV3, took part in a debate entitled 'The future of public service and commercial television: digital highway or car-crash TV?'

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