Online register needed for paid external work by RTÉ staff says Cannon

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Galway Daily business Ryan Tubridy headlinging virtual Galway business event

All paid for external work events undertaken by RTÉ staff should be published on an online register, a local Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon said the public must be provided with all information regarding RTE’s on air talent who receive paid appearances for work and events which are not part of their role with the national broadcaster.

The Galway East TD said ‘impartiality has to overcome all concerns’.

He said that recent revelations about the payments made to Ryan Tubridy from a car manufacturer must ‘surely give us pause for thought’ on how damaging these arrangements are.

“If a broadcaster is receiving payments from any corporate entity, then the public deserves to know, so that we can determine for ourselves whether that broadcaster can be trusted to be impartial when speaking on particular matters,” said the local TD.

“I’m concerned that when these payments are made, impartiality suffers, and the public are kept in the dark.”

Deputy Cannon said that the board and executive of RTÉ have a major job on their hands in restoring trust in our national broadcaster.

“I believe that a key element of that work should be the establishment of a register of external payments, similar to that established by the BBC,” he said.

“There is no issue with anyone being paid for such events, but the viewing public needs to be made aware of relationships between broadcasters and private corporations.

“It is because of their high profile afforded by their roles and work within RTÉ that the on-air talent is offered external work. There is nothing wrong with these opportunities being afforded to them once it is transparent to the public what they have undertaken.

“This register should be a key element of restoring trust in RTÉ and it could be created within a week. Such a register will help to ensure impartiality.”