Reforming RTÉ vital for a properly functioning democracy

The four pillars of Democracy are the, Executive (Government ), the Legislature (Dail and Seanad), the Judiciary (Courts) and the media.

The strength of a nations democracy depends on the strength of each one of these individual pillars and how these individual pillars compliment each other.

In my opinion, in this country the strength of each of those pillars of Democracy has been greatly weakened to catastrophic effect over the last number of years, hence our Democracy in Ireland now has been weakened to catastrophic effect.

The media is the pillar of democracy which is most important in my opinion.

If operating properly, the media holds the other three pillars to account and gives a proper, fair, neutral and impartial account of happenings within the state and throughout the world so the citizens of the state can then be fully informed of all events and happenings.

The citizens can then make up their own informed, educated position on any issue and can also judge fairly the performance of the judiciary and political representatives who make up the other pillars.

Under the Irish Constitution power flows from the people not the other around.

If the people are not given a proper account of events by the media or if the media decides to censor one side of a story while exaggerating the other side of the story, how are citizens meant to make an informed and educated position on any issue?

The truth is they can’t!

In the case of RTE, the states primary media outlet, we see that the board of executives were hauled before various Oireachtas committees to answer questions about the Ryan Tubridy pay scandal and other governance issues.

Consequently we can all now  see that this media organisation, through its lies and deceit appears rotten to the core and it seems to me to have little to no credibility left whatsoever.

While the Ryan Tubridy situation is a scandal, it really is only the tip of a giant iceberg.

The real scandals in RTE will prove to be the mass fear and hysteria which was pushed on our nation for over 2 years by RTE, a fear and hysteria which did so much unnecessary catastrophic damage to our nation and people in so many different ways.

The real scandals, in my opinion will prove to be this and the other cases of mass fear and hysteria which are now pushed by RTE on an almost daily basis on the Irish people with regards to climate change, for example.

I believe this fear and hysteria will prove to do even more catastrophic damage to our nation and its people.

Another scandal in time to come will prove to be the totally one sided account being reported by RTE regarding the situation in Ukraine.

It seems to me that the one-sided narrative is being pushed on the people of this country to frighten them into accepting our nation joining the murderous war machine which is NATO.

With any of the very serious topics outlined above, RTE has only ever tolerated one side of the argument, one side of the story.

Very rarely was or is any doctor, scientist or peace activist ( of which there are many) allowed to tell his or her counter argument to RTE’s generally accepted narrative.

The government’s premier propaganda tool, RTE, has manipulated the Irish people for too long now.

Going forward we need a totally restructured structure from the ground up to ensure impartiality in all aspects of reporting.

If we don’t use the opportunity of the current scandal to bring about proper governance we will end up with an ever worsening version of the “Ministry for truth” as predicted by George Orwell in his famous book 1984 and the authoritarian, totalitarian society that flows from that.

Let us not let this happen, let the people insist on the full restructuring of RTE and let us take the first step in taking back control of our Democracy and country once again.

Let’s remind ourselves again that the Irish Constitution says that all of the power of the State comes from the Irish people. It’s time for us to exercise that power.

Peter O Donoghue is a Cork based activist.


The opinions and views expressed are those of the author