[Fsfe-ie] I complained to RTE about including Vista release on the 9o'clock news

Daithí Mac Síthigh macsithd at tcd.ie
Sat Feb 3 11:37:34 CET 2007

Well done!  It's a good point, but from the point of view of the  
journalist, it's not 100% useful.

As a serial complainer, can I advise:

1) First paragraph should be a neutral statement of the offending  
programme/content (I am writing to express my unhappiness with the  
contents of the Tuesday 1st March episode of Prime Time, and in  
particular the item on goat-chasing presented by Olivia O'Leary at  
approximately 9.55pm).  Name the journalist and give some precision.

2) Don't assume prior knowledge, as these emails tend to end up with  
a sub-editor or audience relations rather than the specialised  
journalists on a particular story.  There is zero chance in hell that  
anyone reading this would know was "non-standard OO-XML" is.

3) Where possible, try and quote from the broadcaster's specific  
obligations (customer charter, statement of principles) or the  
professional code (NUJ, etc).  It gets noticed :-P

4) Give pointers for further reading, good summaries (from credible  
sources) and offer to give further advice if desired.

Hope this helps.

Remember that complaints can be made to the Broadcasting Complaints  
Commission (BCC) and in fact, bias in current affairs shows is a  
frequent topic of complaint (there was a series of problems with  
interviews with psychics and lots of internicine battles between  
different branches of the 'profession' that caused lots of business  
for the BCC).  Making a BCC complaint is easy and just requires a  
form, specifiying which element of the various codes are the subject  
of the alleged breach.


PS I don't think asking a journalist to search for confirming  
evidence through giving them a Google term helps the case (although  
again it's a very good point - would be better expressed by, for  
example, providing a link to a solid news story (i.e. from a source  
that RTÉ would respect) showing how the FUD campaign has been picked  
up/criticised by other news outlets).

On 2 Feb 2007, at 23:19, Mel McWeeney wrote:

> All,
> Representing only my personal opinion, I sent the following email  
> to RTE following their inclusion of the Vista release on the main  
> evening news at 9o'clock.  As yet, I don't know (because I didn't  
> see) if the request to cut the item from subsequent broadcasts was  
> done (offhand I'd suspect not).  But I felt that without  
> representing any organisation, I should make the point I made,  
> knowing what I know.
> As I write, two days later, there has been no response other than  
> the scrap I've attached below, but I think it's important that we  
> challenge the sources of [mis]information, ideally collectively.   
> Going to be biased here and ask, did they cover gNewSense?  
> Opensoursing of Solaris?  Software Patents? Anything else we stand  
> for?
> Maybe we need to be more aggressive as an organisation on this  
> front, in the same way that Geldof challenged Governments and not  
> individuals with Live8!!
> Something to think about and possibly discuss.
> Mel
> OK - Here's what I sent on Wednesday... (from just myself)
> Subject: Shame on RTE for promoting Windows Vista
> Dear Sir/Madam,
> It is bad enough that Microsoft have so corrupted the supply  
> channels that vendors will not tell their customers about "free  
> software", and as a result of their appalling products, spawned  
> both the Anti-Virus and Anti-spyware industries, and yet, they have  
> their predatory business practices advertised for free on the main  
> evening news. Where was RTE news when the battle against Software  
> Patents in Europe was in full swing? Where are RTE news now when  
> Microsoft are attempting to fast-track their non-standard OO-XML  
> through the international standards organisation vetting  
> procedures? Microsoft lawyers are the best in the world, otherwise  
> the company simply wouldn't exist, and have used their influence to  
> corrupt and distort public opinion.
> They don't need the help of RTE news. RTE news would serve it's  
> viewers far better by visiting http://ifso.ie/ and listening to (in  
> particular) the talks by Richard Stallman, and by educating  
> themselves by viewing http://ffii.org/ in particular http:// 
> webshop.ffii.org/ - and subsequently cease and desist from  
> advertising the arrival of new resource-hungry spyware. I hope  
> there is somebody within your newsroom educated and competant  
> enough in these matters to effect an immediate cessation to  
> advertising this anti-consumer menace, preferably before the late- 
> night news broadcasts.
> Kind regards
> Mel McWeeney
> PS: If nobody still working in the studio is informed about these  
> issues, please cut this item from subsequent news.  And if still in  
> doubt, search Google for the keywords "Microsoft FUD".  My search,  
> one minute ago revealed (on a standard Google Search: "Results 1 -  
> 10 of about 1,410,000 for Microsoft FUD. (0.21 seconds)". I will  
> leave you to work out what FUD stands for, but for many it's a real  
> word.  If almost 1.5 million posts have been made about an issue,  
> the public should be told, or at least, the perpretrator not freely  
> advertised!!
> Subject:   	RE: Shame on RTE for promoting Windows Vista
> From:   	"Complaints Review" <complaints.review at rte.ie>
> Date:   	Wed, January 31, 2007 5:09 pm
> To:   	"Mel McWeeney" <different email account>
> Cc:   	"Newsdesk Account" <Newsdesk at rte.ie>
> Priority:   	Normal
> Options:   	View Full Header |  View Printable Version  | View  
> Message details  | View as HTML
> Dear Mr McWeeney,
> Your e-mail is being forwarded to the RTÉ Newsdesk for information.
> With best regards
> Nina Ward
> RTÉ Information Officer
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Daithí Mac Síthigh

school: http://www.tcd.ie/Law/DaithiMacSithigh
blog: http://www.lexferenda.com
telephone: +353 86 819 3881
email: macsithd at tcd.ie

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