27 March 2012
ACMA finds 2DAY’s Kyle & Jackie O Show breached decency
Kyle Sandilands’ comments about a female journalist were deeply derogatory and offensive, and amounted to a breach of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice 2011 (the codes), the Australian Communications and Media Authority has found.
The ACMA has begun formal steps to impose a second licence condition on broadcaster 2DAY FM Sydney which would prohibit the radio station from broadcasting indecent content and content that demeans women or girls.
The ACMA action follows an investigation into a segment broadcast on the Kyle & Jackie O Show on 22 November 2011.
‘The Authority found the comments by Mr Sandilands deeply derogatory and offensive and, in all the circumstances, a licence condition is the appropriate response,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
The terms of the proposed licence condition are available on the ACMA website and are also attached.
The ACMA also found that the comments did not breach the code prohibition on inciting serious contempt or severe ridicule on the grounds of gender. This was because, although the comments conveyed hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule on the grounds of gender, they were not considered likely to ‘incite’ those feelings in others.
The ACMA also found that the program material was not likely to incite, encourage or present for its own sake violence or brutality.
In response to this incident, 2DAY-FM has indicated that it has introduced several safeguards, including:
- Instructing Mr Sandilands and his management of the sort of remarks that are unacceptable and must not be repeated
- Extending the broadcast delay for the program from 10 seconds to 30 seconds
- Installing a warning light system in the Sydney (and Los Angeles) studios to allow production staff and content advisers to notify announcers when content may be of concern
While these initiatives are commendable, the ACMA is of the view that the imposition of a licence condition is appropriate in the circumstances, to ensure the ACMA’s concerns regarding compliance with the relevant provision are addressed. 2Day FM will have the opportunity to make representations to the ACMA on the proposed licence condition before a final decision is made.
In 2010, the ACMA found the same program had breached the equivalent indecency provision of the earlier version of the codes. Following that finding, the ACMA imposed a licence condition to provide increased protection for children participating in live hosted entertainment programs broadcast by 2DAY-FM.
If 2DAY-FM does not comply with its additional licence condition, the ACMA may take further action including:
- Give a remedial direction
- Impose a further additional condition
- Accept an enforceable undertaking or
- Suspend or cancel the licence
It should be noted that the ACMA has no powers, at this stage of the enforcement regime, to ‘fine’ 2DAY-FM or take any action directly against any talent employed by the licensee.
For more information, backgrounder or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadcasting Services Act 1992
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO IMPOSE ADDITIONAL CONDITION ON COMMERCIAL RADIO BROADCASTING LICENCE NO. 3032
Under subsection 43(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, the Australian Communications and Media Authority hereby gives notice that it proposes to impose an additional condition on the commercial radio broadcasting licence identified by the licence number 3032, held by Today FM Sydney Pty Ltd (the Licensee).
The proposed additional condition is set out below.
- The Licensee must comply with clause 1.3(a) of the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice and Guidelines 2011, or any provision dealing with the same subject matter in any replacement code.
- Without limiting paragraph 1, the Licensee must not broadcast material that demeans or is reasonably likely to demean:
- women or girls generally; and/or
- any woman or girl in particular.
- Without limiting paragraphs 1 and 2 above, when referring to women or girls generally or any woman or girl in particular in broadcast material, the Licensee must not place undue emphasis on gender, use overt sexual references in relation to a woman’s physical characteristics and/or condone or incite violence against women.
- The Licensee must:
- develop and implement a program to train staff in relation to the obligations contained in this condition which must be provided to all employees and contractors who are involved in the presentation or preparation of programs.
- deliver the training to all relevant employees and contractors no later than 45 days after this licence condition comes into effect.
- provide written evidence on the delivery of the training to the Australian Communications and Media Authority no later than 60 days after this condition comes into effect.
- The Licensee’s obligations in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 cease to have effect five years after the day when this licence condition comes into effect.