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RTE must end the broadcasting of AA Roadwatch immediately
End the broadcasting of AA Roadwatch - it breaches RTE sponsorship rules and promotes car culture.
Why is this important?
RTE allows the AA to broadcast its “Roadwatch” segment on national radio 150 times per week. This is deeply inappropriate and unethical and is in breach of RTE’s own rules on sponsorship. RTE must end the practice immediately.
The AA is not an impartial provider of neutral information. It is a political lobbyist on behalf of the car industry - its primary function is to lobby Government. It is also a multi-national insurance company with annual revenue of over €1 billion.
AA Roadwatch performs no useful function. It serves only as an advertisement for the AA and the normalisation of car culture. Its prevalence on the airwaves suggests sitting in daily gridlock is a normal and inevitable part of the human experience. Every day, numerous times an hour, our national broadcaster places the reporting of daily rush hour traffic next to news items of national and international significance.
Besides the fact that the “service” provided by AA Roadwatch is of little or no value (“it’s slow but moving at the Jack Lynch Tunnel”), it is a clear breach of RTE’s sponsorship guidelines (sponsorship is defined a contribution made in return for promotion of the sponsor’s name). 1. No sponsorship of news programmes is allowed. 2. “A sponsor must not have any editorial input or involvement in programming” 3. “Any body whose intents are wholly or mainly political in nature may not be a sponsor”.
RTE must end the broadcast of AA Roadwatch immediately.
Many thanks to William Campbell of Here's How for his work on this. I highly recommend his podcast on this topic.