Code of Practice

Code of Practice - How To Make A Complaint

Introduction

We aim to deliver the best possible service to our listeners. We also aim to ensure that our programming is compliant with the requirements set out in the Broadcasting Act, 2009 and broadcasting codes published by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

If any member of the public is of the opinion that a programme or segment of a programme broadcast on WLR has breached a provision of the Broadcasting Act 2009 or failed to comply with a provision of the BAI codes and is not satisfied with the station's reply, they are entitled to submit their complaint to the BAI. This should be done within 14 days following the time limit for the station's response. Information on codes and on the BAI complaints procedure can be found at www.bai.ie and below.

We welcome and will engage with all feedback, both negative and positive, from our listeners concerning any aspect of our service.

We are obliged under the Broadcasting Act, 2009 to have in place a Code of Practice for handling complaints from our listeners. This Code of Practice sets out and explains our complaint process for listeners and ensures that we deal with complaints in an effective and efficient manner. It should be noted that the Code of Practice only relates to certain categories of complaints as detailed below.

For details of your rights - Please click here for section 48.5 of the Broadcasting Act 2009

1. What can I complain about?

You may submit a complaint to us if you are of the opinion that a broadcast or part of a broadcast on our service has breached one or more of the following obligations:

(i) News
We will ensure that our news programming is objective and impartial without any expression of our own views.

(ii) Current affairs
We will ensure that our current affairs programming is:
- objective and impartial without any expression of our own views; and
- will treat the subject matter and all interests concerned fairly.
If we cannot achieve fairness, objectivity and impartiality in one current affairs programme, we will do so in related broadcasts that will be broadcast within a reasonable period of each other.

(iii) Programmes
We will ensure that our programming does not contain any content which may reasonably be regarded as
- causing harm or offence;
- tending to promote, or incite crime;
- tending to undermine the authority of the State; or
- unreasonably encroach upon the privacy of an individual.

We also will ensure programming is in compliance with the BAI Code of Programme Standards.

(iv) Commercial Communications
All commercial communications broadcast by us will be in compliance with the BAI General Commercial Communications Code and the BAI Children's Commercial Communications Code.
An advertising/commercial complaint form is available here: Advertising Complaint Form

If your complaint concerns alleged defamation, you should refer to the BAI Right of Reply Scheme

2. How do I make a complaint

You can first contact us by telephone, email [email protected] or write a letter and inform us of your complaint. A member of our staff will contact you to discuss what concerned you and attempt to resolve the matter to your satisfaction. If we cannot resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, and you are satisfied that your complaint is covered by this Code of Practice, you should submit the following details in writing (letter, fax or email): to: WLR, The Broadcast Centre, Ardkeen, Waterford.

  • Your name and address;
  • the category of complaint; (please refer to the categories of complaints in 'What I can complain about?' above)
  • the date, time of broadcast;
  • the name of the programme, news item or advertisement/commercial communication that you have viewed/heard and which is the subject of your complaint;
  • detail exactly what, in the broadcast, concerned you;

WLR is committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988-2003.

In order for your complaint to be accepted and considered, it must include the above details and must refer to a programme, advertisement or another form of commercial communication already broadcast on our service. To assist complainants you can download a 'Complaint Form' below.

To assist complainants a 'Complaint Form' is available to download from our website: Programming and News Complaint Form and/or Advertising Complaint Form.

If, by reason of disability or other good reason, you are unable to submit the complaint in writing, please contact us and we will assist you to do so.

We will not accept complaints which we deem to be of a frivolous or vexatious nature.

3. How soon should I make my complaint after the broadcast?

The Broadcasting Act, 2009 requires you to make your complaint not more than 30 days after the date of broadcast:

(a) if your complaint relates to one broadcast, 30 days after the date of that broadcast;
(b) if your complaint relates to two or more unrelated broadcasts; 30 days after the date of the earlier or earliest of those broadcasts;
(c) if your complaints relate to two or more related broadcasts of which at least two are made on different dates; 30 days after the date of the later or latest of those broadcasts.

Complaints submitted outside of these time periods cannot be considered.

4. Where should I send my complaint?

You should submit your complaint to the following address:

Michael Byrne,
Programme Director,
WLR, The Broadcast Centre
Ardkeen,
Waterford.
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 051-846196

5. What will happen to my complaint?

Once we have accepted your complaint we will work to resolve the issue/s as soon as possible. Your complaint will be carefully considered, investigated if necessary, and responded to in writing by our Programme Director or a senior member of our programming team.

    • We will write to you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 7 working days.

We will consider the issues raised in your complaint.

  • We will listen to the programme/broadcast item identified in your complaint.
  • Where appropriate, we will consult with any party to which your complaint relates, for example, the advertiser, the presenter or programme maker, to give that party an opportunity to provide observations and comments in relation to the issues raised by you.
  • We will provide a response to your complaint which will, as far as possible, address all of the issues/concerns you have raised. We will set out the reasons for our decision on your complaint.

This response will be sent to you within 21 days from receipt of your complaint.

6. What are the potential outcomes of my complaint?

We may uphold or reject a complaint. Upholding a complaint means that we believe that our programming did not comply with our obligations covered by this Code of Practice. Rejecting a complaint means we believe that our programming was in compliance with our obligations.

If we uphold your complaint, we will seek to resolve it to your satisfaction in an agreed manner. The manner of resolution will be decided on a case by case basis but may include an apology, correction, clarification and/or the offer of a rebuttal.

7. The role of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

If we have not responded to your complaint within 21 days or if you are not satisfied with our response, you can refer your complaint to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The BAI will consider the complaint and may carry out an independent review of the complaint and our response. Information on how to refer a complaint to the BAI is available on the BAI website at www.bai.ie or from the following address:

Complaints Officer
Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
2-5 Warrington Place,
Dublin 2
Phone: (01) 6441200
Fax: (01) 6441299 E-mail: [email protected]

8. Record of Complaints

We are required under the Broadcasting Act, 2009 to keep a record of all complaints submitted in accordance with this Code of Practice for two years. We are also obliged to provide these records to the Compliance Committee of the BAI if the Committee so directs.

Our records will include copies of your complaint, our response/s and the audio copies of the broadcast material.

WLR Complaint Forms:

BAI Codes of Practice/Right of Reply Scheme:

BAI Right of Reply Scheme - http://www.bai.ie/en/download/128546/

Code of programme standards - http://www.bai.ie/en/download/128555/

General Commercial Code - http://www.bai.ie/en/download/131870/

Children’s Commercial Communications Code - http://www.bai.ie/en/download/130364/

Decisions in respect of WLR’s editorial coverage rest solely with our radio station.

The objective of our referendum coverage is to provide as comprehensive coverage as we can of the issues raised by the referendum. Our aim is for our listeners to receive through our programming a wide range of views about referendum-related issues and to receive accurate information about those issues and that our coverage will be fair, impartial and objective.

We will achieve this objective in a variety of ways including;

  • our selection of programme contributors;
  • the airtime we make available to various contributors
  • the scope of on-air discussions and debates;
  • how we structure our referendum-related programming;
  • how our presenters handle on-air interviews and discussions on referendum-related issues;
  • seeking out a variety of viewpoints on the issues raised by the referendum;
  • seeking out informed experts to impart factual information about the issues raised by the referendum.

During the referendum campaign, we will keep records of;

  • who is invited to participate in our referendum-related programming;
  • who participates in our referendum-related programming;
  • the airtime used by each contributor to referendum-related items (for information purposes only);
  • the referendum issues discussed on each item of referendum-related programming.

Our referendum coverage will be coordinated across our schedule during the referendum campaign. We will regularly review the available data about our referendum-related programming during the campaign and recommend to staff across our output areas adjustments and further items that might usefully be included in our referendum coverage to achieve overall fairness in our station’s referendum-related programming.

Our presenters will play a key role in all our efforts to achieve fairness in our referendum coverage. This means that they may on occasion adopt challenging positions towards contributors in order to explore and probe a contributor’s position in more depth for the benefit of our listeners.

Any complaints or representations from campaigners in the referendum interests (as defined in the BAI Guidelines for the coverage of Referenda issue April 2018) or from listeners about the perceived fairness or otherwise of our referendum coverage should be sent by email to [email protected] or by post to ‘Referendum Co-ordinator’, WLR, The Broadcast Centre, Ardkeen, Waterford.

We will give good faith consideration to complaints or representations made in respect of our referendum coverage. Where we deem it appropriate or desirable, in the interests of fair coverage of the referendum issues, programming adjustments and/or remediating measures will be taken as soon as reasonably practicable to redress any imbalance or inadvertent lack of fairness we discern in our referendum coverage.

This Referendum Coverage Statement will be kept under review during the referendum campaign and adjusted, amended and/or modified as deemed appropriate or necessary over the course of the referendum campaign.

South East Broadcasting Company Ltd. trading as WLR.

Advertisement