2GB’s Ray Hadley breached privacy rules by broadcasting man’s address, rules ACMA

Embattled broadcaster 2GB has had yet another finding against it by the media watchdog.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has ruled that the Sydney radio station’s presenter Ray Hadley breached the codes of practice for commercial radio relating both to privacy and to how the station then handled a complaint about it.

The ruling follows comments made by Ray Hadley on his morning show in November last year after the man called police, alleging Hadley had threatened him. The man had previously had an altercation with Alan Jones at an outside broadcast.

Hadley told his listeners:

“Um, in the meantime, um, just for the benefit of people joining me here, I notice there are two police officers outside.

“That would relate to a lunatic who has been writing for about the last five years the most vile letters to myself and Alan Jones. In fact, when a member of our staff was gravely ill, that fellow wrote a letter, that I got a copy of, saying ‘I hope you die’. That’s the sort of person we’re dealing with.

“Now, his name is [X], he lives on [XXXXXXXX] at [XXXXXXXX]. When I came downstairs they told me he’d been abusing Alan from outside the broadcast, so what I did, I walked outside, ‘Officer, g’day, nice to see you both’.

“I walked outside and told Mr [X] that I’d stick his head up his bum and use him as a jug handle unless he went. So if you’d like to take that statement down I’d be more than happy to supply it and write underneath, ‘Mr [X] belongs in a mental institution, he’s a vile character and I have the documents at work where he’s wished people who’ve been ill who have worked for us would die. The most vile character and he’s mentally ill.

“So officers, you’ve got a lot more things to do than worry about that bloke, I can assure you.”

The man named by Hadley complained to ACMA saying: “I’m sure Hadley was miffed that I called the police when he threatened me with physical violence. Is the broadcasting of my name and address about Hadley ‘getting even’? Or is it an exercise in intimidation on Hadley’s part? Is Ray Hadley engaging in mischief-making? Should I be expecting a visit from some disgruntled 2GB supporter?”

It emerged during the investigation that Hadley had got the man’s address wrong, instead broadcasting the address of somebody with the same name. ACMA ruled: “The presenter purported to announce the complainant’s name and address in the course of describing his altercation with the complainant outside the studio.

“While the presenter was concerned about the complainant’s behaviour towards 2GB’s staff and the nature of the letters the complainant allegedly wrote to the station, the ACMA does not consider that there was a public interest reason to disclose his identity.

“The ACMA considers that the broadcast of his personal information was serious, particularly given the manner in which he was described. There was no reason to identify the complainant if the presenter wished to recount the incident which occurred outside the studio and his frustration concerning the event and the complainant’s behaviour.”

However, ACMA said that it needed to take no further action on the issue. In a statement, ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said: “‘The broadcast of a person’s name and address without consent is a breach of the privacy protections under the codes.”

2GB is currently dealing with the fallout from Jones off-air comments about Julia Gillard’s father having died of shame.

Comments


  1. Dan
    30 Oct 12
    5:40 pm

  2. Without defending the fool mentioned above, 2GB regularly breaches the code of practice yet never suffers anything more than a slap on the wrist. Often it’s less than that – as in this instance. They keep doing it because they know they can get away with it. ACMA is a waste of oxygen.

  3. Amazed
    30 Oct 12
    6:11 pm

  4. Who are these people at 2GB?

    Surely if you are on air then you are responsible? Why would a radio station hire irresponsible people?

    Professionals make radio presenters, not hot air breathers? What is wrong with their recruitment policies?

    (Or am I missing something?)

  5. Listener
    30 Oct 12
    7:17 pm

  6. Dan, I totally agree with you. ACMA are toothless hypocritical tigers.

    “It emerged during the investigation that Hadley had got the man’s address wrong, instead broadcasting the address of somebody with the same name.”

    This is why vigilantism by the media is so wrong. Shame on Hadley.

  7. GetReal
    31 Oct 12
    9:25 am

  8. It is about time that the general public woke up to themselves about 2GB. We have (finally) seen some sense in the social media backlash to Alan Jones’ outrageous comments. Perhaps we are now going to see something similar with Hadley. Hadley’s on air (and off air – just ask any of the 2GB staff) behaviour is as equally, if not more unacceptable than that of Jones.

    ACMA are hopeless and the wrist slapping simply reinforces the views of these people that they answer to no-one.

    Bring on the great leveller that is social media or at least do a google search on Ray Hadley and see why he has made news headlines over the past few months. It’s appalling.

  9. Mike
    31 Oct 12
    2:53 pm

  10. If this bozo wants to stick his head up above the parapet with his threatening behaviour and complaints about 2GB, then he cannot expect anonymity.
    If he showed up wearing a balaclava and threatening people, he’d be arrested.

    Whether or not you like 2GB’s style and content, or mistakes made, it’s pretty obvious that the “out of touch” allegations about 2GB have now been put to bed. The people have spoken.

  11. Hugo
    31 Oct 12
    3:22 pm

  12. So not only did he broadcast a person’s address on air – and I assume if a person has the mental capacity to speak an address out loud they have the mental capacity to be aware this a breach of the code – he also got it wrong.

    I wonder what kind of crap the poor bloke who just happens to share a name with Hadley’s enemies went through?

    They did this, knowing full well that the regulator would take action. They did this knowing that the regulator’s response would be weaker than a butterfly’s biceps.

    That tells you what 2GB thinks of our regulator.

    That tells you how well protected Joe Everyman is from media viciousness.

    And they say we don’t need a stronger regulator?

  13. Hypo C.
    31 Oct 12
    9:29 pm

  14. Hmmmmm, Interesting that ‘troll outing’ on social media, running to tracking them down at work, or confronting them on camera at their home or place of business is regarded as acceptable. Similarly, someone can be forced out of their job for a private, poor taste attempt at a political joke and named and shamed through out the media including a campaign against their employer until the person was forced to leave (or fired). However, a name & shame on 2GB is classed as another example of their outrageous conduct.

    I don’t support any of those efforts nor 2GB, it’s just interesting to see the hypocrisy in reaction to the various scenartios.