In response to the report last week that detailed a significant disparity in airtime for male and female artists on Irish radio, the Irish-language station Raidió na Gaeltachta has said that it doesn’t have a policy on gender balance for airtime and that it does not require one.
The station, which plays predominantly Irish traditional music and song, says it was disappointed that it wasn’t included in the survey, which was carried out by music publicist Linda Coogan Byrne of Good Seed PR. Responding to an enquiry from the Journal of Music, a spokesperson for the station said:
RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta does not have a playlist system, and gives freedom to the broadcasters in their choice of music. There is no formal policy with regard to gender balance on air, because there was no need for it. There is an understanding that there should be a balance with regards to men and women. [‘Níl córas seinnliosta i gceist le seirbhís raidió RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, agus tugtar saoirse do na craoltóirí a rogha ceoil a chasadh. Níl polasaí foirmiúil ann ó thaobh cothromaíocht ceoltóirí fir/ban ar an aer, mar ní raibh gá lena leithéid. Tá tuiscint ann gur cheart go mbeadh cothromaíocht idir fir agus mná.’]
The station also said that there is almost total gender balance between presenters on air (52% men, 48% women) and that ‘this is likely to naturally influence the balance of music heard on the station. [‘… is dócha go mbíonn tionchar aige sin go nádúrtha freisin ar chothromaíocht ó thaobh an rogha ceoil de a bhíonn le cloisteáil ar an stáisiún.’]
The report last week, which surveyed 27 Irish radio stations, showed that female artists made up just 7.7% of the top 20 most played songs by Irish acts over the last year.
RTÉ Radio 1 was the only station to achieve gender balance over the last year for Irish artists. RTÉ 2FM and 98FM had 10% female artists in their top 20, and FM104 had none. Today FM, Spin 103.8FM and Spin SouthWest had 5%.
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