2GB’s Asylum-seeker quiz breaches radio code | ACMA

2GB’s Asylum-seeker quiz breaches radio code

Media release 131/2011 - 9 December 2011

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has found that the licensee of 2GB breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice and Guidelines 2010 (the code) requirement that material broadcast must not offend generally accepted standards of decency.

The breach occurred during a broadcast of The Chris Smith Afternoon Show on 14 February 2011 when the presenter held a quiz competition concerning funeral arrangements for the asylum-seekers killed in the December 2010 Christmas Island boat crash.

2GB acknowledged that the quiz competition was ‘offensive, in very bad taste, and that it should not have been broadcast.’ Following receipt of complaints regarding the quiz, the presenter made what the ACMA accepts as two unconditional on-air apologies.

This is the first breach of this code provision by the licensee. 2GB was responsive to listener concerns over the incident and admitted its breach. ‘In those circumstances, the ACMA does not propose to take further formal action’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

2GB has agreed to provide a copy of the ACMA’s investigation report to presenters and producers as well to incorporate the report into compliance training materials.

The ACMA also found that 2GB did not breach provisions of the code relating to inciting hatred against, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of a group of persons or regarding complaints handling.

Investigation report 2598 is available on the ACMA’s website.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Blake Murdoch on (02) 9334 7817 or media@acma.gov.au.

Last updated: 19 June 2016