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Were RTE Radio Awards Fake?

  • 07-07-2011 4:59pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3 Maxbuntu


    We've all heard and seen the blurbs on RTE Radio and TV praising RTE Radio for winning the 2011 "New York Festivals Radio Awards". Here's a news item on RTE TV:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sF7J8zkHGI

    New York Festivals is a profit-making company that makes its profit by running awards competitions. It's like a vanity gallery or a vanity press. Any organisation that pays them money can nominate itself. RTE was in competition only with other stations that paid to get in. This year 183 stations, organisations and individuals paid to be "finalists". (According to the CIA World Factbook, there are about 44,000 radio stations worldwide.)

    RTE was one of three organisations that won the Grand Trophy and was named Broadcaster of the Year. The other two were a local station in Austin, Texas, and a production company in Canada.

    In other words, the awards are not as prestigious as RTE claims.

    Have a careful look at the New York Festival website. The prices for nominating oneself ($355 per programme) are there, as are the prices for trophies ($469) and certificates ($89, unframed). I couldn't find the price for attending the awards dinner, and you'll have to look elsewhere for what it cost RTE to fly people to New York and accommodate them:
    http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/index.php

    The words "humiliating public apology" keep running through my mind.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,871 Corsendonk


    Maxbuntu wrote: »
    We've all heard and seen the blurbs on RTE Radio and TV praising RTE Radio for winning the 2011 "New York Festivals Radio Awards".

    Here is a news item on RTE TV about these awards:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sF7J8zkHGI

    New York Festivals is a profit-making company that makes its profit by running awards competitions. It's like a vanity gallery or a vanity press. Any organisation that pays them money can nominate itself. RTE was in competition only with other stations that paid to get in. This year 183 stations, organisations and individuals paid to be "finalists". (According to the CIA World Factbook, there are about 44,000 Radio stations worldwide.)

    RTE was one of three organisations that won the Grand Trophy and was named Broadcaster of the Year. The other two were a local station in Austin, Texas, and a production company in Canada.

    In other words, the awards are not as prestigious as RTE claims.

    Have a careful look at the New York Festival website. The prices for nominating oneself ($355 per programme) are there, as are the prices for trophies ($469) and certificates ($89, unframed). I couldn't find the price for attending the awards dinner, and you'll have to look elsewhere for what it cost RTE to fly people to New York and accommodate them:
    http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/index.php

    The words "humiliating public apology" keep running through my mind.

    Have you tried ringing Liveline with your research?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 858 goingpostal


    Thanks very much to the OP for that bit of research. I remember watching that news item on News at One on RTE TV a few weeks ago. I remember thinking that these "awards" sounded about as genuine as a three dollar bill. The OP seems to prove that that is the case. RTE paying to be given prestigious awards. Fits in perfectly with everything else I know about that iniquitous organisation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,846 ✭✭✭✭ eth0_


    The Sony Awards aren't much better...the more tables you buy at the awards ceremony, the bigger your chance of winning.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,925 ✭✭✭ ballsymchugh


    eth0_ wrote: »
    The Sony Awards aren't much better...the more tables you buy at the awards ceremony, the bigger your chance of winning.

    george lamb winning best rising talent in 2008 is proof of that, the fecker had so many tools in the studio as part of his 'crew' that they probably had a couple of tables at least.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,185 Rubik.


    One look at the who makes up the Irish PPI Radio Awards Committee would make you wonder how objective its members can really be.

    http://www.ppiradioawards.com/


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 858 goingpostal


    I may have become a black-hearted cynic but I am always reminded of this clip, whenever I hear of some lovey winning a entertainment or showbiz award:


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 Callan57


    Please tell me this is a joke .... I just got my licence renewal notice
    :mad:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 858 goingpostal


    Callan57 wrote: »
    Please tell me this is a joke .... I just got my licence renewal notice
    :mad:

    I wonder how many glasses of champagne 160euro would buy for an RTE lovey in first class on the way to New York to pick up their richly-deserved award? It would sicken you. :mad::(


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭✭ LiamOBrien


    Hi Maxbuntu and others,

    Liam O'Brien here - I'm over the Documentary On One in RTÉ Radio 1 and we collected 8 awards in this years New York Festivals.

    Given the questions you raised, I thought it might be worth giving some answers.

    RE: "Paying to get into the competition"
    Yes, we along with every other entrant paid an entry fee per documentary into this years NY awards. This was $175 per entry and not $355 as you stated. The $355 entry fee relates to TV entries, whereas the $175 fee pertains to radio entries. Many many competitions charge an entry fee for participation. We can only work with the criteria that each competition sets out.

    In relation to the judging and the 183 finalists. Firstly, there were 1000's of entries into this competition - and the judging criteria at this specific competition meant that entries had to reach a certain mark, awarded by a team of judges, before the entry can become a finalist. Not every entry will get to this stage, in fact most won't. Then you have to earn a certain mark to get to bronze, a higher to get to silver, higher again to get to Gold. If these marks are not achieved by any entry into a specific category, then there is for instance no bronze, silver or gold handed out in that category.

    RE: "The awards are not as prestigious as RTÉ claims" - We take our chances on every competition we enter in the same way every other entrant does. RTÉ has been entering this competition, on and off, for many years, and whilst the DocOnOne has garnered success in the past, akin to Radio 1 Drama, we have never won the amount or quality (1 grand+4 golds) of awards as we did this year. In this years NY awards, our entries competed against entries from CBC in Canada, ABC in Australia, BBC World Service, other BBC stations, a host of American stations and other broadcasters around Europe and a host of independent radio makers. In any competition, no matter what the entries, one can only compete with what's around you - but even at that you still have to come through the pack to actually collect an award. I’m guessing there are many entrants who would have be delighted to garner the success we did this year or indeed any success at all. I’m not quite sure what criteria what makes a competition prestigious or not? When you compete with various different public service broadcasters and independent radio makers from many countries all over the world, that would seem fairly strong competition to us.


    As for the Grand award we collected - this award is given on the basis of exceptionally high marks being awarded by the judges. It just so happens that 3 entries across the entire competition reached exceptional high marks. In previous years, only 1 or 2 or no grand awards were handed out. All of the marking systems in place are set out by the festival, so any further questions would be best directed to them. You mentioned that the 2 other grand awards handed out this year were give as you say to "a local station in Austin, Texas, and a production company in Canada". Not sure what this infers again? If anything it’s a good sign of a competition that the entry floats to the top, irrespective of who the entrant is. There are many local stations both here in Ireland and around the world that produce exceptional programming from time to time. Does that mean that if they win, the awards are not prestigious just by virtue that they may be a small company or unknown to you or I?

    In relation to the costs of the actual awards that you outlined - no winner pays for a cup/trophy/certificate etc. However, if a programme maker wishes to purchase a duplicate/second award for their own personal use, then they pay the fees that you outlined. The DocOnOne did not order any duplicate awards.

    In relation to the price for attending the awards dinner, cost to “RTÉ to fly people to New York and accommodate them” etc No one from RTÉ travelled over to attend the awards ceremony. Two non RTÉ staff, with whom we made docs and whom won awards - they did attend but they paid for themselves independently. Richard Downes, RTÉ's Washington Correspondent who's based full time in the US, attended the awards on RTÉ’s behalf.

    Due to both the success of the DocOnOne, Radio drama, Lyric FM and Digital Radio at this year’s NY awards - RTÉ was then awarded the broadcaster of the year award. Both the grand award and the Broadcaster of the year awards were firsts for RTÉ Radio - indeed for Ireland.

    RE: a "humiliating public apology" keeps running through your mind
    - The DocOnOne is currently the most successful radio doc unit in the world - collecting over 40 awards in the last three years. I'm not sure how an apology is appropriate to this type of success? The following awards are what the DocOnOne has collected in the last 3 years.
    • Prix Europa - collected award for last 2yrs running - Largest public service broadcaster competition in the world - every European country puts forward their best entry and off you go - entry is free. The awards are handed out by members of the European Parliament, German Govt and other dignitaries.
    • Prix Italia - oldest radio competition in the world - again free entry.
    • Premios Ondas - International awards held in Barcelona every year - Just 2 awards given in radio and TV - so open competition. They also honour the music industry and past winners include REM, U2, Eric Clapton, Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
    • Third Coast Festival - entry fee c.$50 - open competition to any radio doc in the world - 4 awards handed out - mostly American audience/jury.
    • New York Festivals Awards – entry fee c$175 (cheaper in the past to enter)
    • National Justice Media Awards - free entry - awarded by the Law Society of Ireland.
    • Health Literacy Awards – awarded through a partnership between MSD and the National Adult Literacy Agency, this year Minister of Health attended these awards.
    • PPI awards - Irish industry radio awards - €100 per entry. Most/all stations attend
    • Gracie Awards - Run by the American Alliance for Women in Media - DocOnOne was the only overseas winner this year c.$100 entry fee.
    • Prix Marulic - Croatian competition relating to history related docs- free entry.
    • Åke Blomström Memorial Prize Winner - open to young doc makers under 35yrs old - free entry
    • Celtic Media Festival - open to all Celtic nations - Ire/Wales/Scot/Northern Ire/Parts of France etc c. €100 per entry
    We’ve won pretty much every competition open to us over the last while.

    To be honest whilst awards are very encouraging and a firm pointer that we are making decent programming - our focus is always on our audience and thus on our next documentary. It’s all well and good to win awards but if your programming across the year is poor, then everyone looses out – our audience is the only thing that matters to us – for without them, we’d have nothing.

    Of course, you’re freely entitled to your opinion, as is everyone – but I guess it may be a little kinder all round if you were a bit more informed on the specifics before you rush to judgment.

    The DocOnOne team is a young team – there’s 4 of us - and we’re all under 35 – and doing the best job we can. We’re always open to critique both within our own team and from members of the public - as that is the primary way in which we can improve our programming. We’re more than aware of our public service remit and our responsibility in giving value to the public - Our online archive is the largest radio doc archive available in the world – all for free – over 715 docs stretching back to 1954 and right up to our current weekly docs - the older docs we upload from the archives on a daily/weekly basis. We also offer access to this archive via our own dedicated free Doc on One iphone app and android app. We receive c.1.5 million podcast downloads a year, and the bones of a million webpage visits to our doc site – we work with c.30 freelancers a year – and our door is always open, given the right idea. So, for instance if you have an idea that we feel works, we’ll take you on, train you up etc ensuring that your idea can be the best doc it can be. We are only ever attracted to ‘ordinary’ people with extraordinary stories. I'm saying all of the above to go someway towards saying that we are at all times aware of our public service remit in both the type of programming we make and the standard of it – which we’re always trying to push higher and higher. Of course, in these tightened times, budgets are always a constraint, but they also force one to become more creative.

    Another aspect which indicates to us that we are telling the right stories in the right way is that we regularly have our documentaries aired by other broadcasters around the world - in America, Australia, other English speaking countries and a number of our docs will broadcast on the BBC World Service, BBC Scotland, and BBC radio 4 over the next while. CBC Radio 1 (national broadcaster over in Canada) broadcast our docs every Sunday crossing 6 timezones and 9,000km as well as on their international services. Any community radio station or indeed commercial station in Ireland or around the world is, with prior permission, more than welcome to take any documentary of ours and broadcast it – and some stations do, often focusing on docs specific to their locality/area etc. We do not look for money for these broadcasts, although we do expect on air credit as an RTÉ Radio 1 production etc. I guess what I’m saying is that we try to be as open as possible to everyone, by offering what we view as our quality programming, and in doing so return as much value as we can back to the whomever, wherever – be it in Ireland or around the world. We feel that it's incumbent on us as programme makers to give as many listeners as possible a chance to interact with our programming. As to whether people then wish to listen or not is completely up to each individual.

    I hope the above goes some way to give you an understanding of where we’re coming from and answers any of your questions. If not, please feel free to email us [email protected] I can even phone for a chat if you wish to talk through any further questions that you may have – no hassles.

    If you’re not aware of our docs themselves you might give them a go – you’d never know – they may surprise you.

    All the best,
    Liam
    Series Producer, Documentary on One, RTÉ Radio 1.
    Reviews/mentions of our docs - http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/review.html
    Recent shout out from BBC blogger on our app - http://bowblog.com/2011/06/27/five-radio-station-iphone-apps-reviewed/ - and we will update the app as soon as we can


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 281 ✭✭ Btr


    Mr O'Brien, your comprehensive response here should be welcomed by those who love radio. Personally I've seen some petty minded threads here but this is special in it's innuendo. Fact for radioheads, PBS' tend to make more and better docs on radio than independents thanks in no small part to licence payers. €160 a year seems reasonable to me for whats provided. Jesus some people will slobber that amount of booze around a field in Kildare for the next 3 days. Truth here I'd that many of these posts come from those who didn't get a gig in Rte.

    I neither work for RTE , never have done so or intend applying but this endless whining is tedious


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 281 ✭✭ Btr


    Btr wrote: »
    Mr O'Brien, your comprehensive response here should be welcomed by those who love radio. Personally I've seen some petty minded threads here but this is special in it's innuendo. Fact for radioheads, PBS' tend to make more and better docs on radio than independents thanks in no small part to licence payers. €160 a year seems reasonable to me for whats provided. Jesus some people will slobber that amount of booze around a field in Kildare for the next 3 days. Truth here is that many of these posts come from those who didn't get a gig in Rte.

    I neither work for RTE , never have done so or intend applying but this endless whining is tedious


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,303 ✭✭✭ Doodah7


    OP gets pwned!!!

    I'm delighted too. OP registers just to have yet another moan at RTE.

    In fact the level of whining and begrudgery on this forum beggars belief sometimes... it seems a lot of people on here vent their frustration about not getting their dream job in radio... suck it up and move on...

    And no I don't have ANYTHING to do with RTE or anywhere else but enjoy listening to the wireless without the pseudo-intellectual bullcrap criticism that goes on here...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,185 Rubik.


    tallpaul wrote: »

    In fact the level of whining and begrudgery on this forum beggars belief sometimes... it seems a lot of people on here vent their frustration about not getting their dream job in radio... suck it up and move on...

    Whether the overall tone of the forum is too negative is a matter of opinion, but the reason you're giving for it is nonsense - imo. The vast majority of posters on here are posting as listeners who never had any desire to work in the industry, but just like listening to the radio and have opinions on the matter.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15,941 ✭✭✭✭ tbh


    the simple matter is people are *always* more motivated to have a whinge than to praise something - I include myself in that.
    Just because the majority of posts in any given forum are moaning about that topic, it doesn't mean that the topic is deserving of the moans - 400K people listen to liveline every day but to read the liveline thread, you'd swear it was the most reviled show in Ireland because of the opinions of 5-10 regular posters.
    It's got nothing to do with jealousy, and everything to do with simple human nature - and it's borne out across every forum on boards, and always has been.

    Delighted to see the OP got schooled, I hate these ranty threads that seek to post opinion as fact.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,112 ✭✭✭ squonk


    I have no connection with Radio whatsoever apart from being an avid listener.

    As a member of the public, I resent paying €160/year for what I largely see as inflated salaries for people like Ryan Tubridy and for a bias towards local programming like Fair City or that All Ireland Talentless Show that is, frankly, rubbish.

    RTE's docs are great though and it's nice to see the other side of the organisation as represented by Liam and his team. It's great to see some people excited about what they're doing, being very good at it and offering a public service.

    It certainly presents a positive aspect to the TV licence. I'll at least feel not quite so bad having handed over my hard-earned €160.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Maxbuntu


    Hello Liam O'Brien,

    Thanks for staying up so late to reply to this thread.

    I'm afraid I didn't make myself very clear, at least to you.

    My criticism was not of DocOnOne, but of RTE News for exaggerating the value of the awards and for not checking the facts. New York Festivals is certainly not "one of the world's most prestigious festivals", as the RTE News article states, but simply another profit-making vanity awards company. Nothing you wrote contradicts that. DocOnOne earns genuinely prestigious awards such as the Prix Europa and the Prix Italia. Why bother with vanity awards?

    I did get one fact wrong - the entry fee for each item was indeed $175, not $355. I was looking at next year's awards. I think you might have got a couple of facts wrong yourself. You say RTE was competing against the BBC, CBC and ABC. Actually, RTE was competing against local or specialized units of those organisations that entered on their own. For example, one of the 189 NYF radio awards for 2011 went to the BBC Afghan Education Project.

    But I don't want to criticise DocOnOne in any way. I wish RTE Radio One had more programmes that represented as much effort as DocOnOne's productions instead of padding its schedule with six or seven hours of canned music a day. During those hours, Radio One, Ireland's best-endowed station, sounds exactly like a no-budget local station. Ireland has so much young talent ready and able to make comedy, drama and documentaries. Attention RTE, why not get rid of some of your over-paid presenters, and search the country for some of these creative people?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,981 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    Well the OP deserves some credit just for getting an RTE producer to engage directly with the public, if only the national broadcaster would do so on a regular basis. Curious as to what caught the attention of Liam O'Brien (RTE Radio Awards or the word fake) or were you tipped off?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,575 ✭✭✭✭ Aidric


    Great response by Mr O Brien there and very healthy to see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,071 ✭✭✭ StupidLikeAFox


    Its great to hear two sides of a story


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭✭ LiamOBrien


    Hey,

    I’m no different to anyone else who has an interest in radio – and so occasionally I look through the forums here and elsewhere to see what’s being said both locally and nationally – and so that’s what caught my interest last night.

    There’s nothing better than seeing whomever wherever care enough to actually comment/write on what we're at – as I said previously if critique is fair and honest, then it would be foolish of us not to take it on board. We're in the business of trying to increase the listeners and users we reach by improving our programming, not the other way around.

    As to engaging with the public – I too am a member of the public – and the DocOnOne door is always open. Our team are all 'normal' people, two ladies from Limerick and North Dublin respectively, and two lads, one from Cavan and myself from mid Cork - and we're all just doing our job - no ivory towers here – you can ring the switchboard in RTE and ask to be put through to myself and it’ll go straight to my mobile. Nothing to hide here. Open access is everything for us – you’d be surprised how many great ideas come through the door when you make yourself available to them.

    Anyway, good to touch base with everyone – and as always – if you’ve ever anything to ever say about what we’re at, good bad or indifferent – shoot from the hip – it’s the only way to do business.

    All the best,

    Liam


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,807 ✭✭✭ Poly


    good to have you on board Liam, just curious, what are your favourite shows/presenters?
    Are you allowed to go channel surfing in Montrose or do you have to stay tuned to the mothership?

    I would like to see more docs on science/technolgy/business startups.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Maxbuntu


    By the way, Liam, how many programmes did RTE enter into the competition? Do you know how many were finalists?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,090 RadioRetro


    Well, I for one am OUTRAGED that the licence fee goes towards paying for someone to come on the internets and post 'touch base'! It's disgraceful, I'm ringing Joe..... oh.... wait... damn.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 858 goingpostal


    I don't regret taking the p*ss out of RTE News at One and their crappy report about the oh-so-prestigious awards they had won in New York. I do regret allowing my hatred of most things RTE to blind me to the fact that it isn't all nepotism, cronyism, wannabes, Fair City, Pravda-style propaganda masquerading as current affairs, Charlie Bird vanity projects, RTE 'celebrities' interviewing other RTE 'celebrities' in a vain attempt to convince themselves and the audience how important they are, Brendan "Beefy" O'Connor, imprisoning mentally-unstable citizens for failing to pay their license fee, etc. I shall download a few of the podcasts of Doc On One from iTunes and get back to you on whether they won the prestigious "GoingPostal Killing-Boredom-At-Work Award 2011". First prize is a pair of my auld jocks. BTW, I heard that RTE are letting go 70 people to try to make up for their colossal losses for this year. Who wants to bet with me that it will be stuff like this, which actually makes an attempt to fulfill RTE's public service remit, that gets the ax, rather than some of the so-called 'stars' and their obscene salaries?


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