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Complaints & ‘Right of Reply’ Scheme

Complaints

Code of Practice on Complaints Handling and ‘Right of Reply’

Introduction
Spirit Radio aims to deliver the best possible service to our listeners. We also aim to ensure that our programming is compliant with the requirements set out in the Broadcasting Act, 2009 and broadcasting codes published by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.1
We welcome and will engage with all feedback, both negative and positive, from our listeners concerning any aspect of our service.
We are obliged under the Broadcasting Act, 2009 to have in place a Code of Practice for handling complaints from our listeners and ensure that we deal with complaints in an effective and efficient manner. It should be noted that the Code of Practice only relates to certain categories of complaints as detailed below.

Categories of complaints
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) was established on October 1st 2009, as an independent regulator for radio and television broadcasters in Ireland. Its functions, roles and responsibilities are set out in the Broadcasting Act, 2009. The categories of complaints are specified in the Broadcasting Act, 2009.
You may submit a complaint to us if you are of the opinion that a broadcast or part of a broadcast breached one or more of the following obligations:
(i) News: We will ensure that our news programming is objective and impartial without any expression of our own views.
(ii) Current Affairs: We will ensure that our current affairs programming is: –objective and impartial without any expression of our own views; and will treat the subject matter and all interests concerned fairly. If we cannot achieve fairness, objectivity and impartiality in one current affairs programme, we will do so in related broadcasts that will be broadcast within a reasonable period of each other.
(iii) Programmes. We also will ensure programming is in compliance with the BAI Code of Programme Standards. We will ensure that our programming does not contain any content which may reasonable be regarded as
1. causing harm or offense.
2. tending to promote, or incite crime.
3. tending to undermine the authority of the state; or
4. unreasonably encroach upon the privacy of an individual.

(iv) Commercial Communications. Commercial Communications is defined in section 2 of the BAI General Commercial Communications Code and includes, inter alia, advertising, sponsorship, teleshopping and product placement. Members of the public are asked to refer to the BAI Code. All commercial communications broadcast by us will be in compliance with the BAI General Commercial Communications Code and the BAI Children’s Commercial Communications Code.
If you have a complaint that does not fall under the categories set out in (i) to (iv) above, we would invite you to avail of our feedback/complaints facility on our website, www.spiritradio.ie, or by emailing us at [email protected]

How to make a formal complaint:
People do frequently drop us a note by email with feedback, comments, constructive criticism and suggestions. In this circumstance one of the team will respond either by phone or email.

To make a formal complaint please
1. Submit the following details in writing (letter, fax or email).
Your name and address;
The category of complaint; (please refer to the categories of complaints in ‘Categories of Complaints’ above)
The date, time and channel of broadcast
The name of the programme, news item or advertisement/commercial communication that you have heard and which is the subject of your complaint.

2. Detail exactly what, in the broadcast concerned you.

3. Time Limitations for making a complaint.
The Broadcasting Act, 2009 requires you to make your complaint not more than 30 days after the date of the broadcast.
If your complaint relates to one broadcast, 30 days after the date of that broadcast;
If your complaint relates to two or more unrelated broadcasts; 30 days after the date of the earlier or earliest of those broadcasts;
If your complaints relate to two or more related broadcasts of which at least two are made on different dates; 30 days after the date of the later or latest of those broadcasts. Complaints submitted outside of these time periods cannot be considered.

4. Where to send your complaint
You may submit your complaint to the following email address [email protected], or in writing to Programme Director/Station Editor Spirit Radio, Radio Centre, Killarney Road, Bray, Co Wicklow.

5. What will happen to your complaint:
Once we have received your complaint we will work to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Your complaint will be carefully considered, investigated if necessary, and responded to in writing by our Programme Controller/Station Editor/ or a senior member of our programming team.

We will write to you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 7 working days.

We will consider the issues raised in your complaint.

Where appropriate, we will consult with any party to which your complaint relates, for example, the advertiser, the presenter or programme maker, to give that party an opportunity to provide observations and documents in relation to the issues raised by you. We will provide a response to your complaint which will, as far as possible, address all of the issues/concerns you have raised. We will set out the reasons for our decision on your complaint. The response will be sent to you within 21 days from receipt of your complaint.

6. Potential outcomes for your complaint:
We may uphold or reject a complaint. Upholding a complaint means that we believe that our programming did not comply with our obligations covered by this Code of Practice. Rejecting a complaint means that we believe that our programming was in compliance with our obligations.
If we uphold your complaint, we will seek to resolve it to your satisfaction in an agreed manner. The manner of resolution will be decided on a case by case basis but may include an apology, correction, clarification, and/or the offer of a rebuttal.
If we reject your complaint – or if you are not satisfied with our response, you can refer your complaint to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The Role of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
If we have not responded to your complaint within 21 days or if you are not satisfied with our response, you can refer your complaint to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The BAI will consider the complaint and may carry out an independent review of the complaint and our response. Information on how to refer a complaint to the BAI is available on the BAI website at www.bai.ie or from the following address: Complaints Officer, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, 2-5 Warrington Place, Dublin 2, Phone: (01) 644-1200, FAX: (01) 644-1299, E-mail: [email protected]

Record of Complaints
We are required under the Broadcasting Act, 2009 to keep a record of all complaints submitted with this Code of Practice for two years. We are also obliged to provide these records to the Compliance Committee of the BAI if the Committee so directs. Our records will include copies of your complaint, our response/s and the audio copy of the broadcast material.

Special Notes
If, by reason of disability or other good reason, you are unable to submit the complaint in writing, please contact us and we will assist you to do so.

We will not accept complaints which we deem to be of a frivolous or vexatious nature.

Spirit Radio is committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals in accordance with the Data Protection Acts (1988-2003).

Spirit Radio is not obliged to send you a copy of any broadcast. You yourself should have heard the broadcast in question.

 

BAI Right of Reply Scheme
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s ‘Right of Reply Scheme’ came into effect in May 2011. It provides for the broadcast of a Right of Reply Statement that will facilitate the correction of incorrect information which has been broadcast and which has resulted in a person’s honour or reputation being impugned. 

Further to the requirements of the Broadcasting Act 2009, the scheme provides an opportunity for a person to exercise his/her right to the correction of incorrect information without recourse to legal proceedings which may prove time-consuming and costly. For full details of the Right of Reply Scheme download here.

 

Requesting a Right of Reply

Requests for a Right of Reply on Spirit Radio should be made to Rob Clarke, CEO, by e-mail to [email protected] or by post to Rob Clarke, CEO, Spirit Radio, Killarney Road, Bray, Co Dublin.

Please ensure your request for a Right of Reply, includes the following details in writing (letter, fax or email):
Your name and address;
The category of complaint; (please refer to the categories of complaints in ‘Categories of Complaints’ above)
The date, time and channel of broadcast
The name of the programme, news item or advertisement/commercial communication that you have heard and which is the subject of your complaint.

Should Spirit Radio refuse or deem it inappropriate to grant the request for a Right to Reply Statement to be broadcast, the decision can be reviewed by the BAI’s Compliance Committee.

Spirit Radio is a Not For Profit organisation, and has charitable status (CHY 17448)
Spirit Radio is a 'Company Limited by Guarantee Without Share' (There are no shareholders - Company Number 428029).
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