herald

Saturday 29 November 2014

The tweet hits the fan @RTE

IT gave us an insight into RTE stars' personal lives in just 140 characters.

But now the plug is being pulled on widespread tweeting by bosses at the national broadcaster.

RTE has reined in on staff tweeting about X Factor, last night's soccer and who said what in the canteen.

The new set of guidelines comes after several blunders related to the micro-blogging site were uncovered.

A number of stars at the station found themselves in hot water after their comments online were questioned by top brass.

Most notably, the Presidential campaign took a dramatic turn on the Frontline debate when researchers failed to identify the accuracy of a tweet.

Presenters, reporters and those behind the scenes will now all attend training programmes on social media practices in the New Year.

"The move came after a certain Presidential debate," a source confirmed to the Herald.

"RTE decided to give staff training on how and what to tweet."

Online followers will no longer be privy to the personal daily musings of Miriam O'Callaghan, Brian Dobson or Kathryn Thomas.

Headache

Instead they have been urged not to tweet while in RTE, unless it directly relates to the contents of the programme.

The micro-blogging site has proven to be a headache for bosses at Montrose, who seem unable to figure out how to manage it.

Freelance producer Pat O'Mahony found himself in trouble when he described journalist David Quinn as "a poisonous c***" and was later forced to apologise to Mr Quinn, who described the tweet as "shocking" and "unprofessional".

This incident is currently being investigated by RTE.

With more than 50,000 followers, Miriam O'Callaghan's tweets have in recent times become more related to the topics discussed on her Prime Time programme.

She apologised in May 2010 after confirming Gerry Ryan's death before the station was sure all family members had been told.

Ryan Tubridy closed down his Twitter account, which had 60,000 followers, last year.

Ryan had been subjected to criticism on his BBC radio show performance in particular.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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