NUJ members in Dublin have called on management at RTÉ to rescind a proposed Drivetime programme sponsorship agreement with HSBC Corporate Banking, claiming it could undermine the public's trust in the state broadcaster's news and current affairs. Staff at RTÉ have delivered a petition opposing the deal to the broadcaster's director general, Cathal Goan. Dublin NUJ Broadcasting Branch chair Emma O'Kelly said: “While support for this petition came from across the organisation it is notable that the response from staff working on news and current affairs programmes was extremely strong. They see this development as a threat to the public service ethos of RTÉ.” The petition expressed deep concern and opposition to RTÉ’s decision to enter a sponsorship arrangement for the Drivetime News and Current Affairs programme. O'Kelly added: "The public perception of RTÉ is very important. We have the utmost confidence in the professionalism of all programme teams but there is a strong belief that sponsorship of news and current affairs undermines public trust and confidence in the integrity of news and current affairs."
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