Sinead McSweeney and Superintendent John Gilligan from the Garda Press Office acknowledged the co-operation of local radio in relation to ‘blackouts’ on tiger kidnaps and barricade incidences at a recent briefing with News Editors from the sector. Both McSweeney and Gilligan spoke of the 'huge value of local radio' in communities and that they are aware that the 'public put a premium on the safety advice given by the local media'.
McSweeney admitted that in a democratic society it is necessary that there is a ‘healthy tension’ between the Gardai and the media at all levels. In a discussion about how best both the independent radio sector and the Garda Press Office can work better together, McSweeney outlined that 'the objective of the Garda Press Office is to be as open as possible and to be timely and accurate in their communications with all media and the public. She admitted that the organisation faces huge challenges with the advances in social media and that we must stand against the tide in the ‘race to be first’. These are also challenges faced by the Independent Radio sector in their bid to deliver timely and accuarate information to their listeners.
The event was attended by almost 20 News Editors from the Independent Radio Sector and has been a first for the sector since its inception. The briefing was chaired by Tara Duggan from Newstalk 106-108FM who highlighted the fact that the Independent Radio Secto delivers news and information to almost 2million listeners on a daily basis and that as a result of such listenership it is a powerful medium through which state bodies can get their key messages out there.