ACMA finds Kyle & Jackie O show in breach of radio codes

2Day FM’s Kyle & Jackie O breakfast show has been found to be in breach of commercial radio codes by the media watchdog following its investigation into the controversial lie detector segment.  

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which does not have the power to fine the radio network, has now commenced the formal process of imposing a new condition on the broadcasting licence of 2Day Sydney.

The body said the condition is intended to provide increased protection for children participating in hosted entertainment programs.

ACMA’s decision follows its investigation into the broadcast of the Kyle & Jackie O Show on July 29 which involved a 14-year-old girl revealing that she had been raped while attached to a lie detector.

The segment caused a public backlash against the duo, which saw them suspended by their employer, Austereo.

Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA said: “Even in these more liberal times, quizzing an under-aged child about her sexual history, for mere entertainment, offends community standards.

“The real essence of the problem here was not the presenters or their comments in the segment, but that such a segment could occur at all. Ultimately this was the responsibility of the licensee’s management. Given the seriousness of the matter, the ACMA considers that the imposition of an additional licence condition is appropriate.”

Details of the proposed terms of the licence condition are:

1. Having regard to the special vulnerability of children, in broadcasting any program or program content in which a child:

1. takes part;

2. is referred to in an identifiable way; or

3. is involved in any way (other than as a broadcast listener),

the Licensee must regard the best interests of that child as the paramount consideration and act in those best interests.

2. Without limiting the generality of paragraph 1, the Licensee:

1. must not act in a way that could reasonably be anticipated to cause a child referred to in paragraph 1 unnecessary distress or anxiety by their involvement in a program or by the broadcast of a program or program content; and

2. must not cause a child referred to in paragraph 1 to be exploited or humiliated.

3. The Licensee’s obligations in paragraphs 1 and 2 are separate from and in addition to any obligation it may have to obtain consent to participation in the broadcast or program from the child or any parent or guardian of the child.

4. The Licensee must develop and implement a staff training program specifically focused on its obligations under this licence condition. The training program must be delivered to all of the Licensee’s employees and agents involved in the preparation and presentation of programs for broadcast by no later than 45 days after this licence condition comes into effect. Written evidence of the delivery of such training must be provided to the Australian Communications and Media Authority by no later than 60 days after this licence condition comes into effect.

5. In this licence condition child means a person under 18 years of age.

6. The Licensee’s obligations in paragraphs 1 and 2 cease to have effect three years after the day when this licence condition comes into effect.

The licensee will also have the right to make representations to the ACMA as to whether the licence condition should be imposed.


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