Press machines that can be turned on and off in minutes to record the stories of their users are ‘unplayable’ in Irish journalism, according to RTÉ news presenter Kerry McDoherty.
Mr McDoighan spoke out after RTÉ was forced to apologise for a series of videos it aired in which journalists were shown using heat press machines to record their conversations.
The programme, called Heat Press, aired on RTÉ2 in November last year and featured the use of heat press on the show Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s office in the Dail.
The machines were shown on-screen for the first time in a documentary last year which was produced by the Irish Journalism Institute (IJI).
Mr McDonoghan told The Irish Press he was not surprised by the complaints, adding that “it’s not what you would expect”.
“I think the show was really good but I don’t think that the machine was the issue,” he said.
The use of the machines was discussed on a panel in the IJI’s report on the misuse of the press, which was presented to the Oireachtas on Friday.
“There are a lot of things you don’t want to be in a position where you have to record something that is going on on the air that is very different to what is going to be published,” Mr McDonghan said.
“We have a very, very strict code that is put in place.”
In terms of the equipment that we have, there is a code which we have to abide by which is very clear.
“The panel discussed how to make the use less of a problem for the public broadcaster, and said that there was no need to go further than the programme to show the technology.”
When the camera is in the position that you see, and the microphone is placed on the desk, the video feed can be recorded in real time.
“The whole thing is a simple and very simple way to record audio,” Mr McGowan added.
He said the IJS report on this particular use of a press machine in Ireland had found “a number of instances of people being caught in a bit of a quagmire” and were “trying to find ways around it”.
“The issue with the press is that we are not talking about the press and we are talking about a press.
There are a number of things that go into the way that the press works that are not recorded,” Mr McDowell said.
He added that there were some issues in Ireland that need to be addressed to ensure that “the public are being informed about the issues of the media”.
Mr McDonaldgan said that in a number-one priority was the use and abuse of technology in public broadcasting, and that RTÉ should be taking a much tougher stance on this issue.
“It’s not the press that has been doing it in Ireland, it’s the other media,” he explained.
“They have been using the press for the last 40 years, and they have not been doing anything wrong.”
“The public have been told over and over again that it’s a matter of time, and I think that that is absolutely not the case,” he added.
Mr McDowell suggested that the use or abuse of machines could be addressed through an “audit process” to ensure they are being used properly.
The IJis report into the misuse and abuse on the programme concluded that the equipment used on the footage was “not suitable for the purpose for which they were intended”.
“This is a case of a misuse of technology that was not intended for any specific purpose,” the report found.
“This was the result of the use without approval and failure to ensure the proper use of equipment.”
It was also found that the camera that the show featured in was not installed in a proper manner.
It also found “significant deficiencies” in the recording of the interviews.
“Given the number of people that were interviewed and the number that were seen on the screen, there were a number more people than were shown,” the IJA said.
“Given that this was an unedited programme, there was a lack of sufficient time for this footage to be edited, and therefore, the use was not in accordance with the requirements of the law.”
The report also found the “toxic” environment in which the program was being aired.
Mr McGowan said that the programme had been shown on a number TV channels and that it had been screened on the news channel RTÉ News and on other channels, and had not been available online.”RTÉ News had not aired the programme,” he told The Press.
“It was only on RTES news that they had shown it.”
You would expect it to be available online, but it was not.
It was just on the Irish broadcaster’s news channel.””RTES news has no control over the way