independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Complaints flood into regulator

2 Day FM radio presenters Mel Greig, left, and Michael Christian made the prank call to the hospital (AP/APP/Southern Cross Austereo Sydney)

The Australian media regulator has been inundated with complaints about the prank call made by two DJs from the radio station 2Day FM.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which regulates radio broadcasting, has said it is currently in the process of discussing the matter with the Sydney-based station.

A spokeswoman for the ACMA said it had received "a lot" of complaints but declined to give a figure.

She said: "We've had a lot but it doesn't actually matter, we only need one complaint to launch an investigation. But we haven't launched an investigation yet, we're engaging with the licensee at the moment."

The ACMA is looking at the Commercial Radio Code of Practice to see whether presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian have breached it.

It will be looking at point six of the code, which is "to prevent the unauthorised broadcast of statements by identifiable persons".

Under the code, "a licensee must not broadcast the words of an identifiable person unless: a. that person has been informed in advance or a reasonable person would be aware that the words may be broadcast; or b. in the case of words which have been recorded without the knowledge of the person, that person has subsequently, but prior to the broadcast, expressed consent to the broadcast of the words."

The authority will also look at whether the radio station breached section nine of the code, which deals with live hosted entertainment programmes.

It adds: "The obligation on a licensee under Code 9.1 will not be taken to have been breached in relation to adults if: a. the participant consents prior to the broadcast of the relevant content in the program; and b. the licensee informed the participant of the character of the relevant segment to be broadcast."

The radio station, which has fallen foul of the regulator before, is now understood to have pulled all advertising after many companies began deserting it and there have been calls to sack Greig and Christian, who have been taken off air.

Press Association

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