2UE fined $360,000 in John Laws cash for comments breach

The Federal Court has fined Sydney-based 2UE $360,000 for failing to disclose to listeners commercial arrangements with presenter John Laws’ sponsors.  

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 was breached 13 times during October and November 2007, the final months of Laws’ time on the Fairfax station. Presenters are obliged to disclose their commercial arrangements with a sponsor every time they discuss them.

Chris Cheah, acting chairman of ACMA, said: “2UE repeatedly breached its obligations under the Act, even after giving the ACMA an enforceable undertaking, committing itself to improve compliance.”

The breaches all occurred during a period in which 2UE had told ACMA it was monitoring the show’s output.

The fine comes ten years after the original cash for comment scandal when The ABC’s Media Watch programme revealed that Laws and Alan Jones had been receiving payment from a string of corporate sponsors and not disclosing it when they advocated their interests on air.

In 2004, Laws was found to have breached the rules again.


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