Alan Jones to attend accuracy school, comments to be fact-checked before going to air by 2GB producers

alan jones

Jones: back to school

The comments of under-fire 2GB shock-jock Alan Jones are to be fact-checked by his radio station’s producers before going to air, after a new ruling by industry watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Jones is also to attend training sessions to ensure what he says on air is factually accurate and that he understands the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice.

The fact-checking and training mandates were suggestions made by 2GB – which ACMA has accepted.

The ruling comes after ACMA found that the 2GB presenter breached its code on accuracy in March last year, when Jones made a series of comments about climate change.

In the March broadcast, Jones said: “Human beings produce 0.001% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere”. ACMA’s beef was that Jones’ view was presented as a statement rather than opinion.

The ACMA ruling was prompted by complaints made by his show’s listeners.

The new measures to apply to Alan Jones’ show:

  • Pre-broadcast fact-checking by the program’s executive producer of any material provided by non-media sources or third parties which may require additional confirmation and attribution.
  • Creation and retention (for at least six weeks) of records of the verification material sourced by the executive producer for the facts contained in the editorial piece.
  • Identification by the executive producer of controversial issues of public importance that are not covered by other 2GB current affairs programs.
  • Communication of these exceptions to 2GB’s program director who will then be responsible to ensure that another current affairs program presents an alternative, significant viewpoint to that presented in the program hosted by Alan Jones so that 2GB can discharge its obligations under the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice.
  • Creation and retention of records by the program director for the above steps.

New measures applying to all news and current affairs programs:

  • The program director will conduct random checks of daily broadcasts for each of the programs and will record the details of the controversial issues of public importance canvassed in the program. The program director will also record the reasonable efforts made/opportunities that have been given by the relevant programs to present significant alternative viewpoints.
  • Training will be conducted (including with Alan Jones) focussing on the ACMA’s findings concerning factual accuracy and significant viewpoints.
  • The training will be completed by the end of November 2012.

The news follows shortly after Jones became the centre of an ugly episode prompted by comments he made about the death of prime minister Julia Gillard’s father.

His comments led to the withdrawal of advertiser support from 2GB after an outcry driven by social media and an online petition.

Advertisers have since returned to the network.

Comments


  1. Peter Rush
    18 Oct 12
    12:10 pm

  2. So another 2GB programme will “present an alternative, significant viewpoint eh?
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haHa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha and ha!

  3. Leethal
    18 Oct 12
    1:00 pm

  4. We (in the industry) all have to abide by the codes and if you don’t , this is what happens. No sympathy here.

  5. nell schofield
    18 Oct 12
    1:58 pm

  6. will this extend to ‘women destroying the joint” or is this just ‘opinion’?

  7. Nic Halley
    18 Oct 12
    2:10 pm

  8. this made my day. I would pay serious money to sit in

  9. Lucky
    18 Oct 12
    2:17 pm

  10. So they’ll just re-broadcast ABC702 between 3 am and 5am. Done.

  11. Lindsay.
    18 Oct 12
    2:18 pm

  12. Does this now make Jones a proven liar?

  13. Peter A
    18 Oct 12
    2:37 pm

  14. I thought this guy always did his homework before coming out with such statements.

  15. defender of troglodytes
    18 Oct 12
    2:37 pm

  16. I’d like to be one of the trainers on this one!

  17. Peter Rush
    18 Oct 12
    2:39 pm

  18. Thinking about it, being the shock jock on that alternative programme would be my dream job.

  19. Brian Adams
    18 Oct 12
    2:42 pm

  20. So, Mr. Alan Jones is accused by ACMA of making statements when they should be clearly expressed as opinions. As Mr. Aristotle, late of Greece, once pointed out, “all is but an opinion”. And quite right. Another attempt to stifle free speech. And, further, I wonder if there will be certain and particular politicians made to take the same training as Mr. Jones. So much of what politicians say is neither statement or opinion but out-and-out fabrication.

  21. Fab
    18 Oct 12
    2:48 pm

  22. Do they have Chaser segments in ACMA nowadays?

  23. Adam Paull
    18 Oct 12
    2:49 pm

  24. If Channel Ten could turn his ‘re-education’ classes into a reality show they’d have their highest ratings ever. Seriously – who wouldn’t watch it? It would be a huge opportunity for both Ch10 and 2GB.

    John Singleton should be running down Pyrmont St right about now…

  25. nickatnights
    18 Oct 12
    2:51 pm

  26. Does this mean that Alan lied?

  27. Adam Paull
    18 Oct 12
    2:56 pm

  28. Sorry Brian, but Alan Jones was not expressing an opinion – he was delivering ‘facts’. ‘Facts’ that misinform people and skew political and social debate. “Facts’ that are quite dangerous in the broader scheme of things.

    Broadcasting is a responsibility, and getting your facts right is just one of your obligations.

  29. Hugo
    18 Oct 12
    2:59 pm

  30. Nic, a way for them to recoup the lost advertising revenue? . I bet the Chantam house rule would be explicitly in effect though.

    Ironically, the regulator may have just saved the show – by directing them to do something they should have been doing anyway – they can start to repair their reputation

  31. Richard Moss
    18 Oct 12
    4:28 pm

  32. Look, its OK for you sceptics and doubting Thomases. I say let’s give the training wheels and plastic pants a try at least. If he shows improvement we may be able to take the cork off his fork and, with the aide of a couple of cushions, let him sit at the big table at least for morning tea. Nobody is beyond redemption you know……..well, hardly anybody.

    Its nice to know that someone is looking after the morality of the media, and protecting the vulnerable public.

    NB. VuLnerable has an “l” in it, an “l” that is under attack in the careless world of pronunciation (fact checked by my producer to show that we are up with the Joneses)

  33. Bert
    18 Oct 12
    4:51 pm

  34. Does that make him Aliar Jones?

  35. Mike
    18 Oct 12
    6:02 pm

  36. Why would he bother? Just delay it through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
    From the Monday after the next federal election, ACMA will cease to exist.

  37. WD
    18 Oct 12
    8:11 pm

  38. Eye once attended accurassies skool. I did.

  39. Centre Left
    18 Oct 12
    8:32 pm

  40. @Mike

    Are you saying that the right wing Libs will get in at the next general election and then strip us of our human right to not be fooled by old angry codgers like Jones?

    Would this same Liberal party peddle their hay fork agenda pretty freely in the Murdoch press also?

    Does that mean 2GB is a peddling station for right wing rhetoric, as are News Ltd outlets?

    What is a peddling station?

  41. leethal
    18 Oct 12
    9:05 pm

  42. Mike (comment 18), ACMA isn’t going anywhere.

  43. Garry Wilson
    18 Oct 12
    10:41 pm

  44. Chris Chapman is a hero. Alan Jones will implode now. Makes me happy.

  45. Rosco
    19 Oct 12
    7:31 am

  46. This is total bullshit – he made a simple mistake and he corrected it. Time and time again.
    Just like the “Alan Jones comments caused the Cronulla Riots, the facts don’t agree with what the Alan Jones haters claim.
    Yes, I listen to Alan Jones and I don’t agree with him all the time – but at least those involved in the media should tell the truth, not jump on the bandwaggon.

  47. Cognitively DIssonant
    19 Oct 12
    8:15 am

  48. I’m dying to know what happens when he breaches the order. He gets walked in to 2GB’s internal counsel’s office and Stuart tells him off?

  49. Ricki
    19 Oct 12
    9:28 am

  50. You can set your watch by it.

    The moment someone from the Right wing has to face consequences for their comments and actions, the disciples scream ‘Its a conspiracy!’ or ‘But the other mob dunnit too!’ or ‘Free speech!’. Paranoia with a generous serve of ad hominem statements are no way to gain credibility for your view.

    Alan Jones still has the right to say whatever he wants to. But this shows he’s not above facing the consequences that any of his peers are subject to should they mislead their listeners or fall below basic standards of broadcasting.

  51. Téa
    19 Oct 12
    9:57 am

  52. LOL if only it were just his ‘facts’ that made him offensive.

  53. Mike
    19 Oct 12
    1:27 pm

  54. @ Centre Left – you can bank on it, as far as its current form goes.

    But aside from that, I’ll assume you have enough education to know your global history, and the phrase “re-education camps”. No? Haven’t heard of those?
    The Soviet Union and China were experts at that; ditto Kampuchea (Cambodia) under the Khmer Rouge.
    They would send a dissenter off for “re-education” when officials became angered by anyone who spoke what they deemed to be “untruths”.
    Whatever one’s opinion of Jones or what he says, that’s exactly what is happening here – the stifling of dissent.
    God forbid anyone would dare to disagree with prescribed leftist orthodoxies!

    We are indeed living in an ugly, retrograde time in Australia, when in the same week we (i) stifle dissent, and (ii) see our national dictionary cower and comply with the ALP’s ‘new’ ‘official’ definition of misogynist.
    Australia: a country in need of somebody with a backbone.

  55. Lindsay.
    19 Oct 12
    3:09 pm

  56. Mike (1.27), Jones is not being ‘re-educated’. He is being educated. He will still be free to have an opinion. He will not be free to invent facts.