This Week In Radio 1/4/2023 (it’s April Fools Day)

Lots happens in the radio industry each week so here’s a summary of the week we just enjoyed.

Here’s what happened

Clarkstown radio transmitter

This week RTÉ announced the end of Radio 1 on Longwave. The station had been broadcasting on 252 for years, but all that ends next month.

The only reason the service still exists was to support Irish people living in the uk, but in RTÉ’s view that is no longer worth the huge cost. RTE argue that people can now listen to Radio 1 online, and through a number of TV providers, so the cost of running a long wave transmitter can no longer be justified.

Electricity costs for the service alone cost approximately €250,000 in 2022, amounting to around 2.5 percent of the organisations electricity usage. RTE recently released an all new Radio Player App, so spending this kind of money on a legacy service is hard to justify. Instead of RTÉ spending an estimated €400,000 on electricity for an old transmitter, this money can now be spent on digital services.

A campaign explaining all this will be launched on the LW service and in newspapers for Irish people in the UK, while information will also be distributed by Irish organisations based in Britain. Much like the DAB shutdown, people are being directed to the RTÉ.ie/keep listening page for more information.

In many ways it is the end of an eara, and some will certainly be disappointed with this news. While something is being lost, it’s important to look at the positives. We are getting a more efficient broadcaster out of this, and hopefully it will lead to investment in new content.

All the information you need can be found here if you want to keep listening to Radio 1

The word defamation written in white text on a red background

It looks like Ireland is getting updated defamation laws in what could be good news for journalists.

Irelands defamation laws have often been criticised by the press for being over restrictive. While part of this is as a result of unpredictable high payouts, defamation lawsuits can limit the press without them even defaming someone. This enables powerful people to use the laws as a weapon against the media, which is bad news for obvious reasons.

This was explained brilliantly in an article from the Irish times this week

So what’s actually happening?

Firstly it’s important to note that these changes aren’t guaranteed, but they have passed cabinet which is a big step.

Here are just some of the things included in the new proposal.

  • No more jury’s in high court defamation cases
  • If a person is libeled, the correction would get equal prominence to the original defamation.
  • Solicitors would need to tell clients to consider alternatives to defamation proceedings sutch as mediation.
  • This is a big one for many Radio Land readers, There will be stronger legal protection for journalists working in the public interest, while new measures will aim to tackle SLAPP suits
  • There will be more grounds to defend live broadcasts where a contributor unexpectedly makes a defamatory comment. This has been a bit of an issue in the past.

Overall this looks like good news. The freedom of the press is very important, so any updates to the law to help that are good to see.

The plan is for the new law to be past by the end of the year.

Read the story here

April 1st on a calendar

Today is a very weird day to try do radio news. Loads of stations are doing weird stuff for April fools day, and it’s impossible to tell at times what’s real and what’s not.

Are Classic Hits going back to imaging from years ago? Is Dermot Kennedy joining Dermot and Dave on Today FM? Who knows. I did a link on radio in Cork this morning discussing plans to turn Cork City Hall into a beach, and the whole thing was 100% legit. I’m beyond knowing what’s real or not at this point so I’m just rolling with it.

There are some who feel that April fools day should become a thing of the past, and it certainly seems like less media organisations are participating in recent years. All the concern around fake news has probably played a role in this, but it’s interesting all the same.

I’m a bit of a fan of the day personally, but I’ve never done anything for it with Radio Land. Who knows what the future brings for the day, but we should certainly remember the fun pranks of times past.

What are your favourite April fools day jokes played on Irish radio? Let us know over on Twitter.

Read more on the resistance to the day here

Quick Bits

A man has been charged with dangerous driving causing the death of Paudie Palmer

Ed Smith is going to be hosting a new podcast for GoLoud

There was an article published this week discussing Marty Whelan’s renaissance

Ryan Tubridy is taking his holidays

Sarah Power is taking over Beat 102 103’s Cool 2 School

And that’s the summary for this week. Come back to radio land next week for more radio news📻 and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for extra stories.