Monday, 28 October 2013

2GB falls foul of the Australian Communications and Media Authority - yet again courtesy of radio shock jock Alan Jones

Fifteen hundred people in the Department of Climate Change earning a minimum of 135,000 dollars a year. [Alan Jones, 23 October 2012]

The carnage is everywhere... The Yallourn power station, a major brown coal power station in Victoria’s LaTrobe valley, will today announce that it will scale back electricity production by shutting down one of its four units. Yallourn says the carbon price is driving up operating costs and the government’s renewable energy target is threatening the sustainability of the electricity market. How... for how many months have I been saying this? It says the renewable energy target is suppressing wholesale power prices to uneconomic levels, which will end up costing consumers 53 billion dollars. Yallourn’s decision means that more than 3,000 megawatts of coal-fired power generation capacity has been cut back or closed in recent times.  Queensland’s Stanmore Corporation will close two of its production units. Tony Abbott warned all this would happen and has been vilified in the Parliament for it. Alinta Energy has closed coal-fired production units in South Australia and Delta Energy has closed the Munmorah station in the Hunter Valley. I suppose this is what the government wanted its carbon tax and renewable energy target to achieve. But what are the consequences? Even higher prices and power insecurity. Striking at the heart of our economic strength: cheap energy sources. Are we looking to a future of brownouts, are we? This is just... ugh! Don’t start me. An absolute disgrace. This is the carbon dioxide tax at work. [Alan Jones, 17 October 2012]

Media Release 23 October 2013

Harbour Radio Pty Limited, the licensee of Sydney radio station 2GB, breached the accuracy obligations in the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice 2011 in two broadcasts of the Alan Jones Breakfast Show.
Code 2.2(a) requires licensees, in the preparation and presentation of current affairs programs, to use reasonable efforts to ensure that factual material is reasonably supportable as being accurate.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority found 2GB did not make reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of:
> comments made by Mr Jones on 17 October 2012 about power station closures (Investigation 2962). Here, the sources relied on by 2GB were contradicted by primary material readily available on the website of the owner of the power stations, 
> comments made by Mr Jones on 23 October 2012 about salaries paid in the Department of Climate Change (Investigations 2952, 2953 and 2954). Here, there was no evidence of 2GB’s efforts to ensure the accuracy of the comments.

A third complaint about the accuracy of comments made by Mr Jones on 29 October 2012 concerning the NBN and other matters was not upheld (Investigations 2947 and 2960). The ACMA found the comments broadcast were statements of opinion. The ‘accuracy’ obligation in the codes applies only to factual material.
The ACMA also found two breaches by 2GB of its complaints-handling obligations.
In Investigations 2952, 2953 and 2954, 2GB submitted that it was not obliged to respond to a complaint it considered frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of the complaints process. The ACMA did not accept this submission as the Codes require licensees to provide a substantive response to a complaint, including information about the complainant’s right to refer the matter to the ACMA.
In Investigations 2947 and 2960, 2GB submitted that it did not receive the complaint. However, the complainant provided the ACMA with a fax transmission report showing that the complaint had been successfully sent to 2GB.
In these two matters the ACMA found that 2GB was obliged to give a substantive response and breached the code when it failed to do so.
A link to the Investigations can be found here.
The ACMA is in discussions with 2GB about remedial measures.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or

* Photograph from The Sydney Morning Herald 30 September 2012

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