‘Tragic but realistic’ – new award to recognize broadcasters with ‘natural’ Irish

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Oireachtas na Gaeilge to present new award for ‘Provider Broadcaster of the Year’ at Oireachtas Communications Awards

'Tragic but realistic' - new award to recognize broadcasters with 'natural' Irish

Well-known lecturer and former broadcaster Norita Ní Chartúir has said that a new award to be presented at this year’s Oireachtas Communications Awards shows how “thin” the Irish language is in broadcasting at present.

The Oireachtas recently announced that the new award, Provider Broadcaster of the Year, is to be presented in recognition of broadcasters “for a clear, polished, fluent presentation, in a rich and accurate language, in which the natural rhythm of the Irish language flows. speech ”.

Norita Ní Chartúir, a former broadcaster and lecturer in communications at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, welcomed the new award, but said it was “tragic but realistic” that such an award is needed to recognize outstanding Irish language broadcasters.

“The Irish language is very thin in television and radio broadcasting at the moment. It’s very difficult to find the best speaker, ”she says.

“When I heard Máirtín Jaimsie talking, when I heard Johnny Cóil Mhaidhc, Mike P. Ó Conaola, Breandán Ó hEithir – it was great broadcasting. There was no reason for them to study or remember what they were going to say because they had the ability to express themselves. They were competent in the language, they had the wealth. ”

The Communications Awards also feature awards for radio and television personalities of the year, but Ní Chartúir believes it is important to recognize the high ability and richness of broadcasters’ speech.

“It’s quite difficult to find an Irish language broadcaster who is good but it is very difficult to find a great broadcaster who has great speaking ability, a wealth of speech, that they are fluent in the language,” she says.

“Still, I would welcome it because it will encourage people that there is such a yardstick and a great speaker, a great Irish language broadcaster. When I was broadcasting their gifts to me, I would be very proud. ”

Ní Chartúir suggests one person as an example of a television broadcaster who would be entitled to the award – Maolra Mac Donnchadha from Nuacht TG4.

“It’s a whole other league compared to a lot of broadcasters, and it’s not doing much for anyone,” says Ní Chartúir

The new award means that the Oireachtas Communications Awards have three separate awards for journalists and radio and television broadcasters but none for Irish language writers.

While there is an award for the best social media campaign, there is no award for online publications. There was controversy a few years ago over the news that there was no longer any special award for written journalism. The Oireachtas then noted that Irish language websites and publications were “too diverse” to be included in one category.

The Oireachtas argues that it is sufficient to recognize written journalists in the ‘Journalist of the Year’ category when included with broadcast and television journalists.

Ní Chartúir says that this decision is negligent and that the same recognition should be given to Irish language broadcasters and writers.
“Writing is as important as speech,” she says.

“It simply came to our notice then. Young speakers, people writing in Irish, need encouragement, recognition that the work is worthwhile. ”

The award for ‘Provider Broadcaster of the Year’ and other Oireachtas awards will be presented at a virtual awards ceremony this year due to the cancellation of the forthcoming Oireachtas na Samhna in Galway due to the corona virus.