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Talkback radio: self-regulation jailing: let's legislate.

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Senator Vicki Bourne Party Whip and Senator for New South Wales Australian Democrats spokesperson for Communications

Press Release Dated: 2 Aug 2000 Press Release Number: 00/459 Portfolio: Communications 

Talkback radio: self-regulation failing—let’s legislate The Australian Democrats today welcomed the Final Report of the ABA’s Commercial Radio Inquiry, describing its recommendations as a step in the right direction.

Australian Democrats’ broadcasting spokesperson, Senator Vicki Bourne, congratulated the ABA on its proposal to extend the sponsorship disclosure conditions imposed on radio station 2UE to all commercial radio stations.

“However,” Senator Bourne said, “it is not clear to me why these rules should not simply become part of the standard radio licence conditions in the Broadcasting Services Act.”

“Why do we persist with self-regulation, when we have widespread evidence that it hasn’t worked?”

Senator Bourne said that the inquiry’s findings provided clear evidence that the existing regulatory system for commercial radio is flawed.

“This inquiry has finally documented a disturbing trend towards public deception on talkback radio,” Senator Bourne said.

“The listening public has a right to know when the words they hear on the air are genuine opinions and when they are being paid for by advertisers or sponsors.

“The startling number of breaches of the Commercial Radio Code that the inquiry uncovered show that this is not the case.

“Clearly the existing system is flawed,” said Senator Bourne.

Senator Bourne also acknowledged the Report’s suggestions for modifying the ABA’s powers to improve its ability to effectively police broadcasting Codes of Practice.

Senator Bourne said, “the ABA itself acknowledges that its powers are a blunt instrument— it can slap a radio station’s wrist or take it off the air completely, but nothing in between.”

“The Australian Democrats will consider amendments to broaden the range of options open to the ABA in its role as regulator,” Senator Bourne concluded.


Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 14:10:59