Bill Lehane

Interculturalism in Irish Public Service Broadcasting: RTÉ and the New Irish

My first book, ‘Interculturalism in Irish Public Service Broadcasting’, is available now from Lambert Academic Publishing through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, as well as other online book retailers.

Subtitled ‘RTÉ and the New Irish’, the book examines the place of interculturalism at RTÉ in the context of a new commitment to the concept made by the station in 2007.

The book first traces the history of interculturalism on Irish public service broadcasting and sets out the present day reality of a newly heterogeneous Ireland.

It then uses exclusive access to internal documents arising from this commitment to analyse the station’s plans to transform its organisation and its output to greet the new diversity.

The main part of the book details the findings of a series of 11 interviews with seven key RTÉ personnel across all major output areas and five New Nationals, four of whom are broadcasters themselves.

These interviews reveal a spectrum of opinion on interculturalism in Irish broadcasting, and highlight potential barriers to change.

Many different aspects of the issue are examined, such as:

·the depiction of New Nationals on news reports
·the question of dedicated intercultural programming
·plans for the station to mainstream its intercultural content throughout it schedules
·the role of the Internet in RTÉ catering for New Nationals
·and a new effort to hire intercultural personnel in all areas of RTÉ, including on-air roles.

• In August 2012, Lambert Academic Publishing was acquired by AV Akademikverlag, which has retained the LAP imprint.

• In November 2011, my book was featured by the Council of Europe in its Compendium, an online database of recent cultural policies and trends around the continent.

• In April 2011, the book was included in the Florence-based European University Institute’s Mediva database of books about diversity and migrant integration issues in European media, which features 250 texts in eight languages.

The Mediva (Media for diversity and migrant integration) project also made numerous references to the book in their report on training, one of a five-part series intended to survey the current state of the diversity and media integration around Europe.

In one footnote, the authors (from Dublin City University, one of Mediva’s five European partner institutions) acknowledge that they base their findings regarding RTÉ’s Commitment to Interculturalism from 2007 solely on information in my book as “in spite of contacting the broadcaster by email and phone – it not been made available to the team yet”.

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