'Dobbo' gets honorary lecturer role in Limerick

By David Raleigh

Respected television news anchor Bryan Dobson has been appointed as an honourary lecturer at the University of Limerick.

"Dobbo", as he's affectionately known by the public, who is the main anchor of the flagship RTE Six One News, will take up his appointment as Adjunct Professor of Public Service Broadcast Journalism on September 1 for a three-year period.

However, the nation's favourite anchorman will remain on at the Six One helm presenting the evening news bulletin Monday to Friday.

Mr Dobson recently hit the headlines himself for the wrong reasons, when complaints were made after he described people, who were protesting in the background of a live news broadcast, as "idiots", while he was live on air.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland cleared the RTE newsreader of any wrong doing.

It had received seven complaints over the incident, which occurred in November 2013.

The experienced journalist was conducting an interview live on air with a guest at Government Buildings when protesters with placards appeared in the background of the shot, clearly to the annoyance of Mr Dobson who said they were "idiots".

The Compliance Committee of the BAI decided the comments did not infringe broadcasting rules on fairness objectivity and impartiality.

Commenting on Mr Dobson's appointment at UL, the University's President, Prof. Don Barry said: “The University of Limerick is at the cutting edge of journalism education, and has the highest graduate employment rate in the country."

"The appointment of Bryan Dobson to this prestigious position reflects the University's ongoing commitment to public service journalism, which is of fundamental importance to Irish democracy.”

Head, School of Culture and Communication, Prof. Margaret Harper, said the appointment was a tremendous boost to journalism education at UL.

She said: “University of Limerick journalism students will now be working alongside one of the most recognised names, and a trusted face, in Irish broadcasting. Anyone considering a career in journalism will now have the opportunity to be trained by some of the best journalists in the country - including Bryan Dobson - at the University of Limerick.”

Professor Dobson joins former editor of The Irish Times, Geraldine Kennedy, and Sunday Times columnist Justine McCarthy, who are also Adjunct Professors of Journalism at UL.

He also joins the recently appointed Frank McCourt Chair of Creative Writing, award-winning novelist Joseph O’Connor, who will lead the highly innovative MA Creative Writing programme at the University from next September.

In his honorary role at UL, the RTE man news man will conduct expert lectures in public service broadcast policy, and master classes in broadcast journalism with students. He will also be expected to offer expert guidance to students and faculty on important contemporary issues in public service broadcasting, and will work alongside faculty in mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate journalism trainees.

Dobson, (aged 53), born in Dublin and attended the College of Commerce in Rathmines before beginning a career in commercial radio.

He joined the BBC in 1983 as a reporter and later a presenter of various news and current affairs shows including Good Morning Ulster.

He also reported on a range of important international stories including the Anglo Irish Agreement, the ongoing Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the famine in Ethiopia.

After joining RTÉ in 1987 as a reporter with the This Week programme, he was the same year appointed RTÉ’s Business Correspondent, and began presenting the television business programme Marketplace.

In 1991 he became presenter of the One O’Clock News, later moving to present the Nine News programme before being appointed anchor of the Six One News in 1996. He also currently presents Leaders Questions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

During his career he has also reported from around the world on some of the most important news events from the past 20 years, including, the first free elections in South Africa in 1994; US presidential inaugurations since the mid-1990s; the 9/11 attacks in New York; and the London Tube bombings.

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