The Independent Broadcasters of Ireland regularly consult with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural resources on issues affecting the listeners of Ireland. When an issue is deemed important the IBI will codify a policy on the issue for all members. The IBI’s current policies are outlined below:
The Programme for Government made a commitment to review the funding of public and independent broadcasters. Public policy has up to now focused solely on ensuring that the state owned broadcaster is adequately funded.
Report on the Television Licence Fee
The requirement to have a TV licence has existed since the introduction of domestic television in Ireland. The current system is outlined in Part 9 of the Broadcasting Act 2009. The legislation sets out the requirement to have a licence and the penalties tobe imposed for not having a valid licence.
This report examines the collection, evasion and spending of the revenues collected through the television licence fee and also looks at the changes required to ensure the licence fee remains fit for purpose.
A Public Service Broadcasting Fund for Independent Radio Stations: A scheme proposed by the IBI
The IBI has been campaigning for a fair and equitable system of funding for public service broadcasting in Ireland. The introduction of the new Public Service Broadcasting Charge will result in additional revenue being collected for the purpose of funding PSB. This document outlines a new scheme that proposes to utilise a portion of the additional revenue collected in a new fund to support public service content on independent radio stations.
Policy on the funding of independent radio in Ireland
If the independent radio sector is to continue to develop and to properly serve the two thirds of Irish citizens who choose our services, then action must be taken now across a number of fronts including:
- Formal recognition of the significant public service broadcasting (PSB) contribution of independent radio stations.
- A new fund to support and develop PSB on independent radio stations.
- Amendment of Section 108 of the 2009 Broadcasting Act to define and limit the commercial mandate of RTÉ.
- Funding of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to come from the new Public Broadcasting Charge.
The Board of the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland worked in conjunction with the Advertising groups, Drinks Industry Group Ireland and the Health Promotion Unit at the Department of Health and Children to produce an Alcohol Code for the independent radio broadcasting industry. The code has been in place since 2006 and to date, the code has not been breached by any independent commercial radio station. The promotion of responsible alcohol by independent radio stations is strengthened by on-air campaigns. The Code consisted of two sections:
1. IBI Alcohol Code – Advertising and Sponsorhip
A fully monitored code of conduct on alcohol advertising and sponsorship of specific programmes. Alcohol advertising and sponsorship will no longer be accepted on any programmes where greater than 25% of the audience group is under 18.
2. IBI Alcohol Codes – The Voluntary Code of Practice for Presenters
A voluntary code of practice for presenters that ensures that on air speech content by employees will not glamorise or encourage over consumption or abuse of alcohol particularly amongst young people.