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Broadcasting Authority revises election moratorium rules

Broadcasters will now be allowed to cover election material until 2pm on the day before polling, a move welcomed by TV3.

Broadcasters are currently required to stop all election coverage at 12am on the day before polling - but will now be allowed to broadcast on the topic until 2pm on the day before votes are cast.
Broadcasters are currently required to stop all election coverage at 12am on the day before polling - but will now be allowed to broadcast on the topic until 2pm on the day before votes are cast.
Image: xJasonRogersx via Flickr

THE USUAL RULES that require broadcasters not to cover elections on the day before polling is to be amended this year, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has confirmed.

The authority today confirmed that it would be allowing broadcasters to cover election-related material until 2pm on the day before polling – expected to be on Friday February 25 – after broadcasters, most notably TV3, complained about the current code.

TV3 had asked the BAI to revisit its moratorium policy in a submission earlier this year, insisting that there was no legal basis for the authority to ban broadcasters from making any mention of political matters in the hours before polling.

In a statement this evening, TV3 said it welcomed the move, though it felt that the BAI “could have gone further” in allowing broadcasters to offer election coverage in the final hours of the campaign.

The new rules, it said, “represents a move towards fairer election coverage across all media”.

Online media and newspapers are not debarred from covering elections at any point in advance of polling.

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Gavan Reilly

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