Alan Jones breached decency requirements by using ‘n-word’ on air: ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (AMCA) has ruled that Harbour Radio Pty Ltd, licensee of radio station 2GB, breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice in the Alan Jones Breakfast Show segment in which Jones used the n-word on air.

“The phrase used by Mr Jones has not been acceptable as part of everyday speech in Australia for some time and does not belong on our airwaves,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

Jones has used the ‘n-word’ on air before

ACMA ruled that the segment, which broadcast on 23 August 2018, used a racially charged phrase and offended against generally accepted standards of decency.

Jones used the term as he was discussing last year’s battle for the Prime Ministership between Malcolm Turnbull and challenger Peter Dutton, when he said Mathias Cormann was the “n***** in the woodpile”.

The audio can be heard on, where Jones says: :“The n****r in the woodpile here, if I can use that expression, and I’m not going to yield to certain people who tell us that words in the language are forbidden, the person who’s playing hard to get, is Mathias Cormann.”

The phrase can be traced back to times of slavery in the USA, when it was used to describe African-American slaves who escaped their captors.

Several complaints were made to ACMA about the broadcast at the time, particularly referencing the fact it was not the first time Jones had used the phrase.

After the broadcast, Jones took to Twitter to say he ‘regretted’ the choice of words.

Within hours of the broadcast, 2GB released an apology and Jones apologised on-air the next day.

2GB has said the phrase will not be used on-air again as a result of the ACMA investigation.

At the time of using the offensive slur on air, Jones said he would not “yield to people who tell us that words in the language are forbidden”.

Macquarie Media said it had comment on the ruling.


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