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Newstalk should issue guidelines for broadcasters

Published: Friday, September 22, 2017

Commenting on the news that George Hook has stepped down, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) said today that Newstalk must still take measures to counter the negative impact of George Hook’s victim blaming, and to issue guidelines for their broadcasters for discussing and reporting on domestic and sexual violence.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“In the wake of George Hook’s unacceptable victim blaming comments, NWCI called for disciplinary action to be taken, and it is positive that Newstalk conducted an investigation and that George Hook will step down following this process. However, given that he will return to the station in three months, and also given the fact that Mr. Hook has made victim blaming comments on more than one occasion, NWCI believes the station must issue presenters with guidelines for how to discuss and report on domestic and sexual violence.”

“Furthermore, it is crucial that Newstalk send a strong message that Mr. Hook’s comments are utterly unacceptable. Violent men are socialised and enabled by women's inequality, and by a culture which erases the actions of perpetrators by focusing culpability on the victim. The damage done by these comments is very real, and they must not be repeated. It is clear that more needs to be done by Newstalk, and that the station must find a way of countering the balance the impact of these comments on women.”

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For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 0858519087