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«COMMERCIAL RADIO INQUIRY Report of the Australian Broadcasting Authority Hearing into Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Limited February 2000 Sydney ISBN 0 642 ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

COMMERCIAL RADIO INQUIRY

Report of the

Australian Broadcasting Authority

Hearing into Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Limited

February 2000

Sydney

ISBN 0 642 27032 5

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000

This work is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research,

criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced or

transmitted, in any form, or by any means or process, without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by Australian Broadcasting Authority 201 Sussex Street Sydney NSW 2000.

Printed by Pink Panther, Sydney.

ii Terms Of Reference

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE HEARING BY THE AUSTRALIAN

BROADCASTING AUTHORITY UNDER DIVISION 3 OF PART 13 OF THE

BROADCASTING SERVICES ACT 1992

WHEREAS the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (‘the Act’):

Ø includes within its objects (i) to encourage providers of commercial broadcasting services to be responsive to the need for fair and accurate coverage of matters of public interest; and (ii) to encourage providers of broadcasting services to respect community standards in the provision of program material;

Ø charges the Australian Broadcasting Authority with the responsibility for monitoring the broadcasting industry; and Ø confers on the Australian Broadcasting Authority a range of functions and powers that are to be used by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in a manner that, in its opinion, will produce regulatory arrangements that are stable and predictable and deal effectively with breaches of the rules established by the Act;

AND WHEREAS:

Ø Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd (‘the licensee’) holds a commercial radio broadcasting licence granted under the Act last renewed on 23 August 1996;

Ø John Laws and Alan Jones are presenters on Radio 2UE;

Ø on 20 July 1999 the Australian Broadcasting Authority commenced an Investigation under Division 2 of Part 13 of the Act into matters relating to agreements, arrangements or understandings entered into by or on behalf of the licensee, John Laws or any other presenter on Radio 2UE; and Ø on 6 August 1999 the Australian Broadcasting Authority widened the terms of the investigation to include matters relating to agreements with certain presenters on Radio 6PR Perth and Radio 5AD and 5DN Adelaide;

TAKE NOTICE that for the purposes of the performance of its functions:

Ø to suspend and cancel licences and to take other enforcement action under the Act;

Ø to collect fees payable in respect of licences;

iii Ø to monitor compliance with codes of practice;

Ø to develop program standards relating to broadcasting in Australia; and

–  –  –

the Australian Broadcasting Authority will conduct a Hearing under Division 3 of Part 13 of

the Act for the purpose of making findings in relation to the following matters:

–  –  –

iv (vi) Has any conduct of John Laws in giving effect to the Laws agreements led to any failure by the licensee to comply with the standard of conduct required by Commercial Radio Code of Practice Code 3 ‘Advertising’?

(vi)(a)Has any conduct of John Laws in giving effect to the Laws agreements led to any failure by the licensee to comply with the requirements of clause 4 of Schedule 2 to the Act through the broadcasting by the licensee of ‘political

matter at the request of another person’ without the licensee:

–  –  –

(viii) What were the circumstances in which agreements (including contracts, arrangements or understandings) were made between Alan Jones (and/or persons or corporations acting for him or related to him) and the following corporations or associations (and/or persons or corporations acting for them or

related to them):

–  –  –

(ix) What were the full terms of the Jones agreements?

(x) What was the extent of the licensee’s knowledge of the Jones agreements and the implementation of the Jones agreements?

–  –  –

(xiii) Has any conduct of Alan Jones in giving effect to the Jones agreements led to any failure by the licensee to comply with the standard of conduct required by Commercial Radio Code of Practice Code 3 ‘Advertising’?

(xiii)(a) Has any conduct of Alan Jones in giving effect to the Jones agreements led to any failure by the licensee to comply with the requirements of clause 4 of Schedule 2 to the Act through the broadcasting by the licensee of ‘political

matter at the request of another person’ without the licensee:

–  –  –

vi Panel Members Under section 191 of the Act, the Authority is to be constituted for the purposes of a hearing by a panel consisting of such members as the Chairperson directs.

On 19 October 1999 the Chairperson, Professor David Flint and Mr Michael Gordon-Smith commenced hearing evidence.

On 8 November 1999 the Chairperson was unable to continue with the hearing and, pursuant to section 193(1)(b) of the Act, reconstituted the panel. The reconstituted panel consisted of Mr Michael Gordon-Smith as the presiding member, and Ms Kerrie Henderson and Mr Ian Robertson.





Mr Michael Gordon-Smith Appointed 15 September 1997 for three years.

For almost six years, from 1992-97, Mr Gordon-Smith was the Executive Director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA). During this time he was a trustee of the industry superannuation fund, JUST Super and a member of its investment committee. He was also a director of the AudioVisual Copyright Society. Before joining SPAA, Mr Gordon-Smith held policy advising and management positions in a number of Federal Government departments.

Ms Kerrie Henderson Appointed 17 February 1995 for five years.

From 1994 to mid-1997, Ms Henderson was also Director, Leadership Programmes with The St James Ethics Centre. Ms Henderson consults in the area of cross-cultural business ethics.

She also works in the area of cross-cultural business management and expatriate training, with a particular emphasis on Indonesia. Ms Henderson practised as a commercial lawyer in Sydney from 1980 to 1993.

Mr Ian Robertson Appointed 23 July 1997 for three years.

Mr Robertson is the Managing Partner of the Sydney office of law firm, Holding Redlich. He practises commercial and intellectual property law with emphasis on the film, television, telecommunications, advertising and publishing industries.

Mr Robertson is a director of Cinemedia Corporation, an Advisory Board member of the Media and Telecommunications Policy group at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology,

–  –  –

viii CONTENTS TERMS OF REFERENCE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act)

The Hearing

Agreements Made by Mr Jones and Mr Laws

The Commercial Radio Codes of Practice (the Codes) and the Act

Recommendations

1 BACKGROUND TO THE HEARING

Original Allegations

Talkback Radio in Australia

Radio Station 2UE

2 REGULATION OF COMMERCIAL RADIO CONTENT

The Broadcasting Act 1942

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992

The Commercial Radio Codes of Practice

The Trade Practices Act 1974

The Experience In The United States Of America

3 CODE OF PRACTICE 2 – NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAMS.............. 17 Relevant Available Facts

Accuracy / Newsworthiness

Advertising

The Trade Practices Act 1974 and the Presentation of Current Affairs Programs in a Misleading Manner

Knowledge of Commercial Interests

The Need For Disclosure

4 CODE OF PRACTICE 3 – ADVERTISING

Meaning Of ‘Advertisements’

Presentation And Context

5 MR JONES’ AGREEMENTS AND HIS ON-AIR CONDUCT

Optus

Walsh Bay Finance Pty Limited (Walsh Bay Finance)

Mr Jones’ Evidence and Submissions

6 MR LAWS’ AGREEMENTS AND HIS ON-AIR CONDUCT

Australian Bankers’ Association (Bankers’ Association)

Australian Trucking Association (Formerly Known As The Road Transport Forum)

Registered Clubs Association Of NSW (RCA)

Star City Entertainment Pty Limited (Star City)

Mr Laws’ Evidence and Submissions

ix Conclusions

7 RADIO 2UE SYDNEY PTY LIMITED AND MESSRS JONES AND LAWS’

AGREEMENTS

2UE’s Knowledge of the Agreements

NRMA Draft Contract

December 1998 E-mails Regarding The Bankers’ Association

Knowledge of Mr Jones’ Optus Agreement

Conclusions

8 2UE CODES BREACHES

Compliance with clause 2.2(d) of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice

Compliance with Clause 3.1(a) of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice

9 POLITICAL MATTER

Background

Compliance with Sub-Clause 4(2) of Schedule 2 to the Act

10 RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE AUTHORITY

Disclosure of Commercial Agreements

Paid Advertisements Distinguishable From Other Program Matter

Duration of Conditions

Draft Conditions

SCHEDULE 1: PARTICIPANTS IN THE HEARING

SCHEDULE 2: WITNESSES

SCHEDULE 3: EXHIBIT LIST

SCHEDULE 4: SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED

SCHEDULE 5: PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE REPORT

SCHEDULE 6: CURRENT CONTROLLERS OF RADIO STATION 2UE

SCHEDULE 7: RATINGS OF RADIO STATION 2UE

Radio audience information

Results

NOTES:

SCHEDULE 8: MR JONES’ AGREEMENTS

Optus Administration Pty Limited (Optus)

QANTAS Airways Limited (QANTAS)

State Bank Of NSW (State Bank)

Walsh Bay Finance Pty Limited (Walsh Bay Finance)

Walker Corporation Limited (Walker Corporation)

SCHEDULE 9: MR LAWS’ AGREEMENTS

Australian Bankers’ Association (Bankers’ Association)

Australian Trucking Association (Formerly Known As The Road Transport Forum)

Foxtel Management Pty Limited (Foxtel)

NRMA Limited (NRMA)

x Optus Administration Pty Limited (Optus)

Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas)

RAMS Home Loans Pty Limited (RAMS)

Registered Clubs Association Of NSW (RCA)

Star City Entertainment Pty Limited (Star City)

SCHEDULE 10: 2UE’S KNOWLEDGE OF MESSRS JONES AND LAWS’ AGREEMENTS

Chronology

2UE Submissions

SCHEDULE 11: CONDUCT ON THE ALAN JONES BREAKFAST SHOW

INVOLVING BREACHES OF CLAUSE 2.2(D) OF THE COMMERCIAL RADIO

CODES OF PRACTICE BY RADIO 2UE SYDNEY PTY LIMITED

COLONIAL STATE BANK

Rockdale Council Educating The Elderly In The Use Of Electronic Banking

Interview Of Paul Tissot Regarding Colonial State Bank Branch At Coles Supermarket Dee Why

WALSH BAY FINANCE PTY LIMITED

Mr Jones Discusses An Article By Piers Akerman From The Telegraph

Development Proposal Of Mirvac And Transfield For Walsh Bay

Interview with Mr Bob Carr, NSW Premier

Rallies Against the Walsh Bay Development

QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED

Proposed Shame Campaign

Sacked Apprentices

‘Open Skies’ Aviation Policy, 18 February 1999

‘Open Skies’ Aviation Policy, 19 February 1999

Flight Attendants Sacked for Stealing

‘Open Skies’ Aviation Policy, 24 February 1999

‘Open Skies’ Aviation Policy, 12 March 1999

Thai Flight Attendants

‘Open Skies’ to be Granted to American Airlines, 1 June 1999

‘Open Skies’ Aviation Policy, 2 June 1999

‘Open Skies’ Aviation Policy, 4 June 1999

Reasons Against Proceeding with the Badgerys Creek Airport Proposal

Interview Regarding the Badgerys Creek Airport Proposal, 1 July 1999

OPTUS ADMINISTRATION PTY LIMITED

Interview with Mr Cousins, 17 January 1996

Interview with Mr Cousins, 14 March 1996

Interview with Mr Cousins, 27 June 1996

Interview with Mr Cousins, 9 October 1996

Strengthening Competition In Telecommunications

Optus Sports Vision

Optus UpDate

Mobile Phone Call Drop Out

Interview with Mr Anderson

Half-Yearly Result

xi Cable & Wireless Optus – AAPT Takeover, 1 June 1999 at 5:30 am

Cable & Wireless Optus – AAPT Takeover, 1 June 1999 at 6:30 am

Local Calls

SCHEDULE 12: CONDUCT ON THE JOHN LAWS MORNING SHOW INVOLVING

BREACHES OF CLAUSE 2.2(D) OF THE COMMERCIAL RADIO CODES OF

PRACTICE BY RADIO 2UE SYDNEY PTY LIMITED

REGISTERED CLUBS ASSOCIATION OF NEW SOUTH WALES

General Community #1

General Community #2

It Has a Big Effect

Who Really Pays

Keep the Money Local

Big Tax Increase #1

Big Tax Increase #2

Comments on Labor’s Gambling Policy

QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED

Interview with Mr Gillies

Sacked Apprentices

STAR CITY ENTERTAINMENT PTY LIMITED

Neglected Child at the Canterbury Leagues Club

Mr Kennett’s Comments on Star City

AUSTRALIAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATION (FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE ROAD

TRANSPORT FORUM)

Interview with Mr Scully

Giveaways

Public Meetings

Tar and Taxes Tour

Interview with Mr Vaile

NRMA LIMITED

Wollongong Insurance Claims

Interview of Mr Whitlam, 22 February 1999

Interview of Mr Whitlam, 23 June 1999

FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LIMITED

Rebroadcast of Free to Air Television Signals By Pay Television

AUSTRALIAN BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION

Interview with Mr Aveling, 19 February 1999

Interview with Mr Aveling, 22 February 1999

Interview with Mr Aveling, 2 March 1999

Electronic Cash Transfers and Cheque Clearance

Cheque Clearance Times Reduced

Fees and Charges

State Taxes on Banking and the Introduction of the GST

RAMS HOME LOANS PTY LIMITED

xii Interest Rate Cut

Fees Are Good For You

Social Contract

ATM Usage

Westpac Down to 16%

St George Brochure

Bank Fees



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