SINN FÉIN HAS claimed that RTÉ News has been refusing to broadcast interviews with Gerry Adams or cover its daily press conferences over the last number of days.
The party complained to the national broadcaster yesterday about the level of coverage it received on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
However, RTÉ insisted the party has not be excluded from programming this week.
Sinn Féin launched a social media campaign last night in response to what it believed was its lack of coverage from RTÉ:
A party spokesperson told TheJournal.ie: “Sinn Féin is extremely disappointed with the coverage of its election campaign by RTÉ over the past two days. We do not believe that it has been fair or balanced.
Though some footage from the campaign has been used no Sinn Féin voice has been heard on the main TV News bulletins during this time. This is despite the fact that the policy proposals of the other parties have been carried.
A Sinn Féin source claimed RTÉ had told the party it had given it too much coverage at the beginning of the campaign and had to scale it back in recent days.
However the source pointed that much of this coverage had been devoted to the controversy over Sinn Féin’s call for the abolition of the Special Criminal Court.
“Everyday we did policy launches they weren’t getting covered as it was us repeating our position on the Special Criminal Court,” they said.
In response to what it feels has been a lack of coverage, Sinn Féin published a video on its Facebook page last night highlighting some of the events party leader Gerry Adams had attended in Cork:
However RTÉ defended its coverage and insisted it does not operate a quota system on airtime for each political party.
“We do have airtime guides but they’re only a guide and we take everything into consideration in trying to be overall fair to all parties,” a spokesperson said.
The pointed out that Sinn Féin has, so far this week, featured on: the Claire Byrne Live Leaders’ Debate, The Late Debate, Six-One, and Nuacht bulletins; on Sunday on This Week, Six-One News, Nine News and Campaign Daily, on Saturday on One O’Clock and Six-One News programmes and Saturday with Claire Byrne.
The spokesperson also pointed out that interviews with Gerry Adams are planned for the Six One News and Today with Seán O’Rourke in the coming days, as well as the final TV debate on Prime Time next Tuesday.