Australia's ACMA To Probe Radio Stunts
August 11, 2009 at 10:45 AM (PT)
The AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY is investigating radio stations' practices regarding protection of participants in live broadcasts in the wake of the the controversial rape-confession incident on AUSTEREO Top 40 2DAY FM/SYDNEY's KYLE SANDILANDS and JACKIE O morning show. The ACMA, responding to 137 complaints about the incident, is looking into how stations treat the subjects of stunts, pranks, and other promotions and bits on the radio.
"Recent public concern in relation to an episode of the KYLE AND JACKIE O SHOW, broadcast by 2DAY FM, has highlighted broader issues about the treatment of participants and subjects involved in 'stunt' or 'prank' calls, competitions and challenges on commercial radio," said ACMA Chairman CHRIS CHAPMAN.
"The ACMA acknowledges that the broadcasting sector should generally be able to experiment with program genres and styles which may be attractive to its audiences. However, the strength of community concern expressed about the practices of some live-hosted entertainment programs and the ACMA's own assessments indicate that there is emerging evidence that the current regulatory arrangements may not be keeping pace with industry practice and community standards."
SANDILANDS and JACKIE O were suspended after the airing of the segment, in which the girl, strapped to a fake polygraph, responded to a question about sex by saying, "Oh, okay, I got raped when I was 12 years old." SANDILANDS followed up by asking the girl if the rape was "the only experience you've had." The exchange set off a furor that included a police investigation and commentary from the Prime Minister. SANDILANDS also lost his position as a judge on the TEN NETWORK's "AUSTRALIAN IDOL."
Submissions from the public are due SEPTEMBER 30th, with the investigation projected to be completed by DECEMBER.