RTE apology after broadcaster slammed for recent controversial coverage

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An RTE boss has apologised for the broadcaster’s recent coverage of flooding across Europe.

RTE managing director of news and current affairs Jon William’s took to Twitter on Monday evening to apologise for the broadcaster not linking recent extreme weather events with climate change.

The state broadcaster had been subject to much criticism for its coverage of the flooding events across Europe as well as the heatwave in Ireland.

Sharing an article which he had written about RTE’s future plans for covering climate change he said: “We were wrong not to make clear connection between recent extreme weather events & climate change.

“Sin of omission & reported in good faith. But truth matters. So when we get it wrong, we should say so. Lesson learned. Work to do.”

In the article Williams vows that RTE will be doubling its efforts to cover the issue of climate change.

Among the steps being taken by RTE will be assigning their science correspondent to more stories about the environment as well as organising climate change workshops for reporters.

In the article Mr Williams wrote: “For the past 16 months, RTÉ News has been focused on covering a once-in-a-century global pandemic.

“Like everyone else, we’ve had to make choices – compromises about not covering other things we would rather not make. Pre-pandemic, RTÉ’s financial challenges meant one correspondent covered both science and environment.

“Since March 2020, our science correspondent has been exclusively assigned to covering the Covid crisis. However, as Ireland emerges from the pandemic, we will double down on our coverage of climate issues.

“Public service journalism means RTÉ News has a responsibility to lead the conversation about the climate crisis, and the impact it is having.

“From September, every journalist in RTÉ News will take part in a workshop looking a climate science, and the reporting of it.

“And we will create a team, working across RTÉ News & Current Affairs, dedicated to reporting the climate crisis, beginning with extensive coverage of COP26, the United Nations Climate Change conference in Glasgow in November.”