Stop RTÉ Bias


RTé’s biased abortion coverage and more

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RTÉ’s Bias Abortion Coverage:

A Critical Examination

RTÉ has continually been at the forefront of pushing for abortion liberalisation through its programming. This is in breach of its commitment to viewers at-large to be a neutral public broadcaster funded by our TV licence fees.


‘Stop the Bias’ Campaign

 In 2021, over 4,000 people sent communications to RTÉ’s then-Director General, Dee Forbes, to complain about the blatant one-sidedness of coverage on the abortion issue. Part of the letter read: “In the space of a fortnight recently, RTÉ Radio 1 afforded abortion supporters 38.17 minutes to push their point of view and a paltry 2.09 minutes to the pro-life side during the same period… The programmes in questions were: Today With Claire Byrne (10.5.21), Sunday with Miriam (16.5.21), Drivetime (18.5.21) and Morning Ireland (25.5.21)… On 25th May (third anniversary of the abortion referendum), RTÉ News also aired a report multiple times that was completely skewed in favour of the pro-abortion position.”

Response and Scrutiny

Despite receiving over 4,000 communications, Ms Forbes declined to even give a reply let alone to take proactive steps which would correct the obvious one-sidedness. However, the ‘Stop the Bias’ campaign run by the PLC mobilised thousands of people across Ireland and cast serious doubt on RTÉ’s claim to be a neutral public broadcaster.

Since the 2021 ‘Stop the Bias’ campaign, RTÉ has come under serious scrutiny including at Oireachtas committees over their policies and practices. Many people are disillusioned by revelations of financial impropriety and excess within Montrose, including frivolous spending, excessive salaries, lack of transparency and the existence of a golden circle within RTÉ. In addition, RTÉ has continually churned out programming and reporting which many consider to be blatantly biased and in concert with state-funded NGOs like the National Women’s Council which are afforded endless airtime. The results of the 8th March 2024 referendums gave the political and media class in Ireland a rude awakening. This prompted many people to question how in tune the political and media class really are with the views of the Irish people.

Recent Developments

On 15th April 2024, RTÉ plumbed new depths by broadcasting an ‘RTÉ Investigates’ programme which purported to lift a lid on the truth about Ireland’s regime. Instead of a hard-hitting examination into the realities of abortion today, viewers were exposed to blatant one-sided propaganda with a narrow focus on campaigning in favour of extreme abortion liberalisation. The programme interviewed a coterie of activists, who were disingenuously depicted as somehow neutral experts. For example, Dr Jonathan Lord was described simply as a “consultant gynaecologist” and no mention was made to the fact he’s an ardent campaigner and the Medical Director of MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) in the UK. 

Critical Analysis of Programming

The ‘RTÉ Investigates’ programme was highly partisan and sensationalised, and chose to focus on the very small number of cases (<2% of all Irish abortions) where women still travel abroad to access late-term abortions, while the programme completely overlooked the significance of the massive increase in abortions that has taken place since the law changed in 2019. In its aftermath, the Pro Life Campaign called for an Oireachtas investigation into RTÉ over its non-existent editorial standards when it comes to issues like abortion.

The time for editorial accountability from RTÉ has long since passed. Over the past twenty years, RTÉ has produced countless Prime Time specials which depict abortion in a one-sided way and carry an implicit pro-abortion message. The PLC has campaigned to highlight RTÉ’s bias and will continue to get our message out to the public through all avenues available to us, because the state-broadcaster is clearly failing to cover the issues which matter in a fair and balanced way.