Dundalk FM Election Guidelines

Dundalk FM will use this approach which is based on the Coimisiún na Meán Guidelines in Respect of Broadcast Coverage of Elections.

The Coimisiún na Meán Guidelines will apply from Tuesday 7th May 2024 until the closing of polling stations on 7th June 2024.

The main points of Rule 27 Guidelines https://www.bai.ie/en/codes-standards/#al-block-3 to consider are

  • All presenters will be made aware that news and current affairs are presented in a fair and impartial manner without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views.

  • Broadcast content must not display bias in favour of, or against, any election interest, including parties or candidates.

  • Endorsements on-air by a broadcaster of election interests, including candidates or parties are not permitted.

  • It is not appropriate for persons involved with election interests to present programmes during the election campaign period.

  • Comments made offline have the potential to undermine the perceived impartiality of our coverage.

Advertising: We do not advertise election events, notices regarding meetings or other events being organised by election interests either as paid ads or Community Notices.

Advice: Advice may be sought anytime via election@bai.ie or by phone 01 644 1200.

Background Information: A folder entitled ‘Elections 2024 ‘ has been created in the E Drive. It contains these Guidelines and a record of our coverage.

Communications: This document will be displayed in the Reception, Production Studio, Main Studio and Canteen area and volunteers and staff will be sent a link to the documents which will be saved to our website.

Complaints: Complaints will be handled according to our Complaints Code which is available on www.dundalkfm.com.

Conflict of Interest: Staff and volunteers will be asked if they have a conflict of interest. This means that if you are canvassing or promoting a candidate (even online) then it is advisable to stand down from programming until after the election. The Programme Committee will decide on a case-by-case basis on appropriate arrangements.

Moratorium: The Dundalk FM moratorium is from 12 pm on Thursday 6th June.

Opinion Polls: A presenter must give information such as the date the poll was taken, who commissioned and paid for the poll, who conducted it and the number of people polled.

Party Political Broadcasts: Dundalk FM will not transmit any party political broadcasts.

Programming – Local Elections

50-minute Election Panel Debates will feature as part of our Town Talk Programme and if necessary between 10 am and 12 pm on Saturday. The presenters are Marissa Lucchesi, Cathal McCooey, David Larkin and Pat Byrne. Padraig Quigley will conduct the panel discussion if the presenter is unavailable. Only these presenters can interview candidates. We are not conducting one-to-one interviews. We expect to have a minimum of 12 panel debates with up to three in-studio guests for alternative parties who are in our broadcast area i.e. Dundalk South and Dundalk Carlingford. We do not have the facility to accommodate zoom, online or phone calls. A record of contributors, time on air, and topics of conversations will be recorded on Running Orders and a Summary Sheet. We do not give out questions in advance. Candidates will be contacted a maximum of three times and if there is no reply, the station will not follow up after that. A log of calls and emails will be retained.

Programming – European Elections

One-to-one interviews will feature as part of our Town Talk Programme.

Social Media: Presenters should aim to become a trusted source of information. Post meaningful, respectful comments — in other words, please, no spam and no remarks that are off-topic or offensive.


New Candidates will be offered an interview in advance of the election guidelines coming into place so they become comfortable with the studio, get to know the presenters and practice speaking on the radio.

We will seek questions from our listenership and online followers. Questions for candidates will be sought via email to elections@dundalkfm.com.

If comments are made that are deemed to be derogatory and the presenter feels that they need to end the interview they can use a form of words such as ‘We need to go to a break’. If an apology is required it should be done ASAP e.g. ‘We apologise for the comments and Dundalk FM do not associate in any way with the comments made by ________.’