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ACMA rules that 2Day FM licence will not depend on not demeaning women after all

Australia’s media watchdog has toned down the tough conditions it said it would be putting on radio station 2DayFM’s licence following Kyle Sandilands’ on air attack on a female journalist last last year.

When the Australian Communications and Media Authority published its findings earlier this year, it said that it would be imposing a new condition of the 2Day FM licence. As well as making it a specific licence condition that the station complied with the radio code of practice guidelines on not offending generally accepted standards of decency, it also said it would introduce the following new condition:

The Licensee must not broadcast material that demeans or is reasonably likely to demean:

• women or girls generally; and/or

• any woman or girl in particular.

• When referring to women or girls generally or any woman or girl in particular in broadcast material, the Licensee must not place undue emphasis on gender, use overt sexual references in relation to a woman’s physical characteristics and/or condone or incite violence against women.

Station owner Southern Cross Austereo had claimed that the rule was too vague.

Today, ACMA put out a short announcement which reveals that the new condition has been withdrawn, although it does not explain why it had the change of heart. It said: “The licensee has had an opportunity to make representations to the ACMA and the ACMA’s action follows consideration of those representations.”

A further condition that the station implement a training programme for staff remains.

A statement from Southern Cross Austereo CEO, Rhys Holleran said, “Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) acknowledges today’s decision by ACMA and is reviewing all available options. SCA finds the decision broad reaching and its lengthy term unprecedented. SCA believes ACMA has not fully taken into consideration the extensive processes and procedures that the business has taken upon itself to implement with regards to comments made by Kyle Sandilands on 22 November 2011.”

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