ACMA fails again

Following the tragic suicide of a British nurse, the victim of a cruel and unfunny practical joke by an Australian radio station 2DAYFM, what action can we expect from the Australian Communications and Media Authority which is supposed to regulate such matters? Following the most recent of many such breaches of license conditions, in May last year, ACMA warned 2DAY-FM that it could lose its license if such behavior continued. But ACMA has never cancelled a license, and clearly never will. So, we can expect another warning, or perhaps some meaningless, and unenforceable, license conditions.

ACMAs total failure contrasts with the success of the Facebook backlash against Alan Jones, which has cost him and his employers millions in lost advertising revenue, and greatly reduced his power and influence.

At this point, it’s clear that licensing has failed. Rather than continuing with this farce, we should auction the spectrum currently allocated to commercial radio, and let the winners do what they want with it, subject to the ordinary law of the land (which prohibits recording deceptive calls, though this law is never enforced against radio stations). As a community, we should continue to punish the corporations that sponsor the likes of Jones, Kyle Sandilands, and their latest imitators.

144 thoughts on “ACMA fails again

  1. Katz, I agree. The radio station should be prosecuted. Actually, maybe we could extradite the 2DAY execs and lawyers to England for prosecution in exchange for Julian Assange 😉

    Fran, stop babbling. In reply to PrQ’s “I’m at a total loss to understand your eagerness to defend 2DAY-FM, a station with a long history of appalling behavior” you said:

    “I don’t suppose it is possible that in this particular instance, they might have no case to answer.”

    The prank was illegal, deceptive, unethical and a breach of both the law and the relevant media code. It is also not unusual for stupid radio pranks to go horribly wrong- for example Kyle Sandilands inadvertently inducing a 14 year old to admit to being raped in a less than supportive setting and last years death of a woman who died almost immediately after winning a prize for drinking a (dealy as it turns out) quantity of water.

    This particular stunt also had the 2DAY management tick of approval. If you can’t understand why 2DAY has a case to answer, you are obviously (cough, splutter) bereft of good judgement.

    I also note this slimey piece of nastiness that emanated from your poison keyboard:

    “She [Duchess Kate] was in a private hospital bed for something working class (and even middle class) women endure with equanimity. This woman was of course, carrying the royal seed, which is obviously different.”

    You have no basis at all for this seedy comment. What an irrational and malign creature you are.

  2. @John Quiggin the gutter press has been around for hundreds of years. they got a piece of the action in radio and cable TV now.

    the US and UK has more gutter press and trash TV because a larger population can support niches larger enough for every bad taste.

    the laws on listening devices should such as in NSW should have stopped the worst pranks. those laws should be enforced.

  3. I’m rather surprised that there has been no comment, apart from that of J=D, on Steve at the Pub’s threat to JQ’s academic career (see comments #40 and #41 on 11th December).

    Our host, no doubt exasperated by the diversion of comment from ACMA and broadcasting licences to a subject about which all the facts are still unknown, asked Steve rhetorically when he first logged in to this blog if he was still “pedalling kooky conspiracy theories”.

    One such theory to which John was probably referring is Steve’s belief that burning the equivalent of 60 billion barrels of fossil fuels a year would have only a minor, possibly no effect on temperature of a closed system.

    I would imagine that a blog site such as this attracts it’s fair share of cyber bullies but Steve’s threat appears to me to be a lot more sinister because Steve (if that is his/her name) infers he has the power and influence to carry out his threats: he is not a tattooed builder’s labourer in a Jacky Howe singlet, shorts and muddy boots overflowing a bar stool as his pseudonym suggests but Sir Stephen, a senior university administrator or academic in pin-stripped suit and pointy shoes or maybe a company CEO with Liberal party connections.

    But he’s certainly a sensitive little flower who has threatened to stalk John who should seek legal advice.

  4. @ Geoff, Megan

    My first reaction to SatP’s little outburst was to roll my eyes and repress the urge to tell him to get over himself. As it stands he is a classic counterpoint to the adage that age brings wisdom.

  5. Geoff, I was ‘threatened’ by Steve also – he likes to give people ‘tips’ about what they should or shouldn’t do and he remarkably thin skinned about the abuse he receives and thick skinned about the ones he hands out.

    Steve is a relic of the Joh era. A damaged men who are not coping with the 21 st Century and as such deserves some leeway as he is not responsible for the awful things he says when throwing a tantrum.

    I suspect that he doesn’t have a good relationship with his grandchildren.

    Perhaps Steve is not yet an adult who can take responsibility for himself in social situations where his ‘wealth creator’ status counts for FA.

  6. Geoff Andrews :
    I’m rather surprised that there has been no comment, apart from that of J=D, on Steve at the Pub’s threat to JQ’s academic career (see comments #40 and #41 on 11th December).
    Our host, no doubt exasperated by the diversion of comment from ACMA and broadcasting licences to a subject about which all the facts are still unknown, asked Steve rhetorically when he first logged in to this blog if he was still “pedalling kooky conspiracy theories”.
    One such theory to which John was probably referring is Steve’s belief that burning the equivalent of 60 billion barrels of fossil fuels a year would have only a minor, possibly no effect on temperature of a closed system.
    I would imagine that a blog site such as this attracts it’s fair share of cyber bullies but Steve’s threat appears to me to be a lot more sinister because Steve (if that is his/her name) infers he has the power and influence to carry out his threats: he is not a tattooed builder’s labourer in a Jacky Howe singlet, shorts and muddy boots overflowing a bar stool as his pseudonym suggests but Sir Stephen, a senior university administrator or academic in pin-stripped suit and pointy shoes or maybe a company CEO with Liberal party connections.
    But he’s certainly a sensitive little flower who has threatened to stalk John who should seek legal advice.

    If Steve were really a figure with the connections and influence to harm John Quiggin’s career, he’d hardly be wasting his time on blowhard pomposity here. I am confident that John Quiggin has as little reason to fear the consequences Steve threatened as a nineteenth-century Czar of Russia would have to fear the minatory editorialising of a provincial New Zealand newspaper with a circulation of a hundred. Hence my amused reaction and the reference I made, perhaps a too esoteric one, but of sentimental value to me because of my father’s fondness for it.

    Returning to a more important aspect of the discussion, I think this is worth reading and reflecting on:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason/2012/12/12/who-is-to-blame-for-a-suicide/

  7. @Julie Thomas
    Steve’s over reaction to what was a somewhat gentle gibe makes me think that there is history between these two(?) academics.
    I hope so because the worst thing that could happen for John would be a sudden string of rejected publications and applications for research grants and the only clue that Steve’s abusive threat was being implemented was that one of the panellists was wearing a tie over the Jacky Howe.

  8. @Geoff Andrews

    Having read quite a bit of SATP’s material, I can’t recall him going quite this far. Indeed, it surprises me that he would be in a position to reflect at all in a professional sense on PrQ’s output. I assume that this is mere bluster. AIUI, he runs a pub up in northern NSW somewhere.

    Plainly, the jibe got under his skin, and this is his response. On the internet, it’s sometimes hard to get a read on people but I’d be surprised if this is anything more than SATP behaving like the proverbial bullfrog.

  9. @John Quiggin

    Exactly. That is why I said earlier (I quote in part);

    “Ordinary workers were put in jeopardy of official and/or employer criticism, sanction and/or dismissal by an idiotic, juvenile stunt. It is the anti-worker aspect of the stunt that really riles me. In our overly hiearchical and exploitative society you should never give ammunition to the “powers that be” to scapegoat individual workers.”

  10. @Katz

    A pity. I’ve been working out in the hope of winning.

    But, it does seem that Steve is a bit flummoxed by the problem of distinguishing between his tinfoil hat theory on climate science, and the identical theories of anti-vaxers, anti-fluoridationists, AIDS revisionists, birthers, poll-unskewers and so on. He might find things easier at Catallaxy, where no conspiracy theory is too crazy to get a run, as long as it passes the ideological sniff test.

    As regards his threats to my career, I’m just about to start a 5-year Laureate Fellowship, and I’m sure he will have cooled down when 2017 rolls around

  11. On the apparent suicide of the nurse,

    Apparently the inquest has heard there were three notes found. According to The Guardian, ‘sources’ say one contained references to the hospital and staff (‘critical’ of the staff), one was to do with her funeral wishes and one was concerned with 2DayFM.

    Given the circumstances, you might expect headlines mentioning that, apparently, she devoted a suicide note to the ‘prank’ incident everyone is interested in – you’d be wrong. All the media I’ve seen blares about the one mentioning the staff.

    As an aside, just saw that a senior Vic copper has pleaded guilty to leaking details of a terrrst raid to the Oz. That was, presumably, the info Cameron Stewart and the Oz used to essentially extort more info and an inside exclusive running on the story from the AFP in return for holding back on what they had.

    That was the terrrst raid News Ltd famously reported a few hours before it happened. People who pretend to take all this terrrst stuff seriously should be calling for indefinite detention without trial for everyone at News Ltd involved in this outrageous endangerment of our national security. But, of course, they won’t.

    Eagerly awaiting some headlines like: “ENTIRE MURDOCH STAFF ARRESTED UNDER TOUGH LAWS FOR AIDING TERRRSTS”.

    But that’s not how it works for our double-standard loving media.

  12. @Fran Barlow

    Fran
    Not disputing with you, but STATP’s assertion that

    “I cannot say if our blog host has sought, or is under, the care of mental health professionals, but I can say that no person will ever, in my presence, quote him or any research/work of his, as a reliable source. Neither will any committee I am a member of accept any report/recommendation that is authored in whole or in part by him.”

    clearly threatens that Steve will exert any influence to block any publication to which John has any attachment, no matter how small; as well as any “recommendation” (for a grant, for example).

    If, as you think, he is a regional pub owner, MY conspiracy theory falls apart.

  13. Geoff, I’m pretty certain Steve really is just a grumpy regional publican (sorry Fran, I had the idea he was out in peanut country around Kingaroy or somewhere – the XXXX is a bit of a giveaway also).

    J-D, I got the ‘Czar’ reference immediately and had a little chuckle. When we’re surrounded by stupid it gets very hard to remember that the wall of stupid is deliberately built and isn’t actually representative of the majority of our fellow citizens.

  14. SATP’s own blog can be read through the link on his moniker (or “tag” or “nom de plume”).

    It makes for a repugnant litany of ingrained prejudice and loony right wing mythology. It’s sort of what you would expect if Robert Bolt and Alan Jones ran a pub together and wrote a blog about it.

  15. @John Quiggin

    I am sure SATP’s threats to JQ’s career amount to regaling the local barfly with tales of how bad John Quiggin is. The un-educated barfly would be thinking “John who? Dang, this beer tastes flat and the bartender down the road talks less. I’m off.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s