RTE hosts event on media and the SDGs

On the 27th of February Sustainable Media Ireland, supported by Coimisiún na Meán, hosted a discussion in RTÉ on the pivotal role of the media in accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals

The role the media can play in driving progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals was discussed at an event held by Sustainable Media Ireland in RTÉ on Tuesday last. The event brought together representatives of the media, government, business, and civil society.

Established in 2020, the Sustainable Media Ireland network is facilitated by Coimisiún na Meán and sees media organisations come together to learn, share knowledge, and partner on sustainability initiatives. It recently changed its name from the Broadcasting Sustainability Network, to reflect plans to expand and include a wider range of members from across the media industry.

The event, hosted by Network member RTÉ, was inspired by the broadcasters’ participation in the SDG Champions Programme, run by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

Titled Media’s Role in Sustainable Development – Accelerating progress on the SDGs, the event was opened by RTÉs Director General Kevin Bakhurst, who noted that as an SDG champion, RTÉ is committed to improving its own sustainability performance and shining a light on social and environmental issues through its programming. It was noted that RTÉ has set ambitious sustainability targets and made positive progress on issues such as diversity and inclusion, and climate action.

Broadcasting Commissioner Celene Craig reaffirmed Coimisiún na Meán’s support for Sustainable Media Ireland and its work, highlighted the role of media to use its voice to shine a light on critical social, environmental and economic issues, and to work together to further SDG’s and create a greener, more inclusive future for all.

In a fireside chat, Coimisiún na Meán’s Director of Media Development Sinéad Crowley, spoke with David Donoghue, former Irish Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, and Dr. Dave Robbins, Director of the DCU Centre for Climate and Society. They discussed the origins of the SDG goals and shared their thoughts on the media’s role in driving progress on sustainable development.

Minister Eamon Ryan, also attended the event, noting the potential for media to highlight issues of critical importance but also to amplify stories of positive action happening on the ground, such as the work of the SDG Champions.

In addition a panel discussion featuring SDG champions and representatives from the media explored how business, communities and the media can collaborate to deliver on the SDGs.

Sincere thanks to all who made time to speak or join a panel:

  • Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan
  • Kevin Bakhurst (RTÉ Director General)
  • Celene Craig (Broadcasting Commissioner, Coimisiún na Meán)
  • Ambassador David Donoghue, (Ireland’s former representative to the UN (from 2013 – 2017) and co-facilitator of the intergovernmental negotiations on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development)
  • Dr. David Robbins (Director of the DCU Centre for Climate and Society.)
  • Dr. Mary Smyth (Central Statistics Office Ireland)
  • James Kiernan (Chambers Ireland)
  • Troy Bannon BSc CEng FIEI (RTÉ)
  • Emer O’Neill (Broadcaster and Global Citizenship Education Officer with the Irish Girl Guides)
  • Nessa McGann (Ours To Protect Project)

Thanks to Sinéad Crowley (Director of Media Development at Coimisiún na Meán) and Claire Hyland (Independent Chair of the Sustainable Media Ireland Steering Group, and Head of the Youth Lab at Thinkhouse) for facilitating sessions.

And congratulations to the teams at RTÉ and SustainabilityWorks  for organising it.

For more information – check out sustainablemedia.ie ,  the SDG Champions Programme and Ireland’s progress on the SDGs

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If you want to find out more about Sustainable Media Ireland, are interested in becoming a Member, or are keen to collaborate, please get in touch by sending us an email.

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