RTÉ to include live smartphone feeds in news bulletins

24 Oct 2012

RTÉ journalists are to be equipped with smartphones in a move that will allow them to feed directly into news bulletins live from anywhere in the Irish capital, the broadcaster revealed today as part of a shake-up of its News and Current Affairs division.

RTÉ’s managing director of News and Current Affairs Kevin Backhurst said RTÉ News has committed to using the latest expertise in order to provide the best service to its viewing, listening and online audiences.

This will include a roll out of smartphones with a capacity to feed directly into News bulletins and plans to link up with a wireless network in Dublin which will enable journalists to report live from anywhere in the city.

“These changes are a very clear signal of our commitment to strong current affairs programming and to investigative journalism. And as we bring in the latest technology to deliver our content, we will position RTÉ News as one of the most modern, multi-platform broadcasters in Europe.”

In recent weeks, the managing director of RTÉ revealed that 60pc of all of the station’s online content is consumed via mobile devices.

Reshuffling the deck

As part of the shake-up, a new morning news television programme is to begin broadcasting between 9am and 11am, produced by RTÉ Digital’s News Now, beginning in early 2013.

The station is creating new roles of science and technology and GAA correspondents, as well as roles for a new assignments editor and political news editor.

Pat Kenny’s Frontline will move to a more prominent slot of 9.30pm and a new-look Prime Time will broadcast from a new studio shared with Frontline.

The Week in Politics will be moved to an earlier time of midday on RTÉ One on Sundays. Morning Ireland’s radio studio will also be revamped as part of the strategy.

Presenters Claire Byrne and George Lee will also join the Prime Time team.

In technological terms, the station will revamp the main RTÉ News website and a new RTÉ News Now app will be released.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years