Report Criticises 'Frontline' Audience Selection

An internal RTÉ Frontline report published yesterday has said audience selection by market researchers for the controversial presidential debate show was rejected as “sterile” by the production team.

Instead when selecting the audience, the programme continued “the standard Frontline format of directly approaching members of the public”.

The presidential election steering group at RTÉ approved this approach, a working document on the programme said yesterday.

However, it led to a situation where “there appears to have been a blurring of the line between people who were known to the production team from previous programmes, so-called ‘Friends of Frontline’, and personal friends of the production team,” the document states.

The 27-page working document was prepared following a review of the Frontline programme, commissioned by RTÉ last March and conducted by former head of news and current affairs at UTV Rob Morrison and director of programmes at RTÉ Television Steve Carson.


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