LE19: Shannonside FM Local Elections and EU Elections coverage statement

LOCAL AND EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2019 COVERAGE STATEMENT OF SHANNONSIDE FM

The objective of our election coverage is to provide comprehensive coverage of both Elections taking into account:

• the resources available to us
• our target audience
• the normal programming we provide to our audience

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Candidates are free to submit press releases to [email protected] for consideration, at any point up until the day before voting, when a moratorium of election coverage comes into place.
These releases will be considered by the News Editor, along with all other news items for publication.

From May there will be an election desk in the main lunchtime and/or evening news to facilitate the increasing number of press statements from candidates.

European candidates may be interviewed on the Joe Finnegan Show.

Shannonside FM’s objective is to give fair, objective, and impartial exposure to candidates, political parties, and electoral interests across our range of current affairs programming. We shall do this in such manner as we deem fair and appropriate, including but not limited to:

• our selection of contributors
• the airtime afforded to contributors
• the issues that are emerging as core issues for the electorate/in the election
• the structure of our current affairs programming
• how our presenters handle election-related topics

Within that coverage we will adopt editorial mechanisms to monitor:

• the names of contributors offered air time
• the names of the contributors appearing on our programme
• the nature of the programme on which contributors appear e.g. panel discussion, discussion between two or more contributors facilitated by our presenter, panel discussion, direct interview with our presenter / journalist
• the topic of discussion
• the amount of airtime enjoyed by each contributor, each party and each electoral interest group

Shannonside FM will establish in advance with contributors the capacity in which we ask them to contribute to programmes comprising election coverage e.g. whether representing themselves as individual candidates, representing a political party running candidates in the election, and/or representing an electoral interest/grouping.

This does not mean that individuals will not be asked on air to address issues in some other capacity, as the nature of the discussion may indicate is appropriate; it means that the broad scope of the capacity in which they will be asked to appear will be established in advance of their on-air contribution.

Our presenters will play a key role in all our efforts to achieve fairness in our election coverage. This means that they may on occasion adopt challenging positions towards contributors in order to explore and probe the contributor’s position in more depth for the benefit of our listeners.

Kevin McGillicuddy is Shannonside FM’s overall Election Coverage Co-Ordinator. All data and information relating to our election coverage will be reviewed at least once weekly during the election campaign by our Election Coverage Co-Ordinator in consultation with members of our senior editorial team.

Any complaints or representations from candidates, political parties, or election interests/groupings about Shannonside FM’s election coverage should be submitted by email to [email protected] or [email protected]

We will give good faith consideration to all complaints or representations made in respect of our election coverage. Where deemed appropriate or necessary, in the interests of fair coverage of the Local and European Elections, adjustments and/or remedial measures will be taken as soon as reasonably practicable to redress any imbalance or inadvertent lack of fairness we discern in our election coverage.

Our election coverage and this Election Coverage Statement will be kept under review during the election campaign and adjusted, amended and/or modified as deemed appropriate or necessary over the course of the campaign.

From 2pm on the day before polling, a moratorium of election coverage will be in place on Shannonside FM.

It is a matter for Shannonside FM to decide the extent and manner of broadcast coverage that it will provide during the Local Election and European Election campaigns.

Kevin McGillicuddy
Shannonside FM News Editor
24/04/19