10,000 people share their views on RTÉ through independent survey

Almost 10,000 members of the public have responded to RTÉ’s invitation to say what they think about RTÉ through its ‘Have your say’ campaign.

In February and March 2021, through an independent survey, members of the public were invited to give their views on RTÉ and what they want from it, whether they regularly consume RTÉ’s television, radio or online services, or not. These views will guide what RTÉ will do over the years ahead.

89% of those surveyed say it is important that RTÉ produces a mix of programmes and content, with 89% also agreeing that audiences should have access to a broad range of high-quality content that is from Ireland.

91% say it is important RTÉ provides programmes and content that cover a wide range of interests, and 92% say it is important to provide coverage of events of national interest across culture, sport, politics and other areas.

87% also say it is important that RTÉ provides archive material documenting the heritage and everyday life of Ireland, which should be accessible in all formats (video, audio, and written).

In general, there is strong support for all public service principles including being independent from political, commercial and other influences, acting in the best interest of society and striving for excellence.

In terms of accountability, 96% want RTÉ to provide the opportunity for public feedback and complaints and the same number want RTÉ to ensure it is managed in line with best practice.

97% say it’s important that RTÉ provides high quality national and international news and current affairs that is accurate, fair, impartial and objective. RTÉ must also make autonomous editorial decisions and 96% say it is important that RTÉ hold those in positions of authority to account.

94% say it is important that RTÉ ensures people with disabilities can access RTÉ programming and services, while 92% say it is important that RTÉ content and services are as accessible as possible to everyone.

74% say it’s important that RTÉ creates content that reflects the diversity that exists in Ireland.

According to the survey, the public also wants RTÉ to entertain them and make them laugh, to provide quality documentaries that get that nation talking and to provide a platform for Ireland’s artists, musicians, and culture.

Dee Forbes, Director General of RTÉ said:

“We'd like to thank almost 10,000 members of the public for sharing your views with us. These views will play an important part in shaping what RTÉ, as your public service media, does in the years ahead, as part of our ongoing commitment to meeting your needs.

“While the survey provides much food for thought, it is encouraging to see that the public supports RTÉ as an independent, strong, and accountable public service media that informs, engages, and entertains a wide range of audiences through our programming and our services.

“We do not take this support for granted. We will now further explore this valuable feedback as we develop RTÉ’s Public Service Statement in the coming months and plot our path for the future.”

Under the Broadcasting Act (2009), RTÉ is required to consult with the public and prepare a Public Service Statement every five years. This statement sets out the principles to be observed and activities to be undertaken by RTÉ in order to fulfil its public service remit.

This year’s consultation received the largest ever response to a media consultation with the Irish public.

The anonymous survey was conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) on behalf of RTÉ.

Those who would like to see ther results in detail can visit www.rte.ie/haveyoursay