RTÉ seeks ‘dis­loyal’ anony­mous tweeter

The Irish Times - - News Features -

RTÉ has said it will “hold to ac­count” the anony­mous Twit­ter user who has been se­verely crit­i­cis­ing the broad­caster’s cul­ture and prac­tices.

The so­cial-me­dia ac­count @rtes­e­cret­pro first ap­peared on Twit­ter on Septem­ber 7th, since when it has been de­nounc­ing RTÉ’s work­place cus­toms and prompt­ing on­go­ing spec­u­la­tion about its cre­ator. The ac­count’s tweets in­clude ex­co­ri­a­tions of “lazy” com­mis­sion­ing edi­tors, the grip of unions, morale and even the poor stan­dards of the can­teen.

Yes­ter­day a strongly worded cir­cu­lar to RTÉ staff from the broad­caster’s di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources, Eimear Cu­sack, re­minded em­ploy­ees that they were bound to ob­serve a code of con­duct and so­cial-me­dia guide­lines. “In­di­vid­u­als in­volved in this han­dle, di­rectly or in­di­rectly, will be held to ac­count,” the email said.

Not­ing em­ploy­ees were con­cerned about the tweets, Ms Cu­sack said the broad­caster de­plored the con­tent and in­ten­tion of the Twit­ter ac­count. “It is pro­foundly dis­loyal to staff, brings the or­gan­i­sa­tion into dis­re­pute, and in a pub­lic fo­rum, is a dis­ser­vice to all of us,” she said.

Di­a­tribes

The Twit­ter ac­count in­tro­duced its au­thor as an RTÉ pro­ducer who has worked pri­mar­ily in chil­dren’s, day­time, life­style and en­ter­tain­ment tele­vi­sion. In di­a­tribes evok­ing Howard Beale’s rants in the 1976 film Net­work, the au­thor ex­plains why, in their view, morale and stan­dards have hit bot­tom. “Ev­ery­thing shot in RTÉ looks like it’s stuck in the ’70s,” one tweets says. “Work prac­tices are im­ple­mented not for safety or staff pro­tec­tion, but to dis­cour­age in­no­va­tion.”

The au­thor claims that the broad­caster’s “genre” heads are the same peo­ple as held the posts 10 years ago and that since the 2008 crash there have been vir­tu­ally no pro­mo­tions. “Ev­ery­one frus­trated and pissed off, and fun­da­men­tally not arsed.”

The tweets come at a time when the na­tional broad­caster is strug­gling fi­nan­cially in the midst of se­vere dis­rup­tion to the me­dia in­dus­try, and seek­ing a num­ber of re­dun­dan­cies.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in here, think what they are do­ing, is point­less,” an­other tweet claims.

The ac­count also por­trays a cul­ture of con­tin­ual cof­fee breaks, staff who would rather read mag­a­zines than fo­cus on pro­gramme re­hearsals, and ef­forts by hu­man re­sources to find a way to make cer­tain em­ploy­ees take the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s re­dun­dancy pack­age.

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The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in here, think what they are do­ing, is point­less

Twit­ter ac­count of “se­cret RTÉ pro­ducer”

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