public broadcasting

driving around Ireland for a week by myself, the radio was a welcome companion. RTÉ lyric helped a lot in our encounters with coaches around the Ring of Kerry on our first day. the concept of “public broadcasting” in Ireland is something wholly different than that found in the United States. virtually every form of television and radio that I consumed in my sixteen days in Ireland was, in fact, funded by the government by way of Raidió Teilifís Éireann. the radio component initially began as one station designed to service the whole island,  but RTÉ has since expanded into a network of stations focusing on different material (it’s hard to program for the listening interests of such a large and diverse group…). now there’s Radio 1 (national news, sport, etc.), 2fm (music and chat), lyric fm (classical music), and Raidió na Gaeltachta (Gaelic language programming). depending upon the broadcasting frequencies of regional radio (often organized by County — Kerry, Clare, etc.), I’d have to surf to find the RTÉ station I’d been listening to, but it was always there. sometimes I’d even find it two or three places on the dial. (oughtn’t we update the phrase we use, as radios rarely have “dials” anymore?)

RTÉ is also responsible for several network television stations, including the ones that aired the documentary speculating what might have happened had Jack Lynch invaded (a broadcast of which I watched on RTÉ Two). like the BBC, they’re a major source of news for Ireland, but they also provide sport, entertainment and Irish-language programming (on TG4). the worlds-longest-running late night show, The Late Late Show, airs on RTÉ One.

Author: Erica

born in the midwest with wandering feet.