Sydney radio station 2DAYFM, which is owned by Southern Cross Austereo is no stranger to on air controversy.
In 2009, its presenter Kyle Sandilands was censured by the Australian Communications & Media Authority for forcing a 14 year old girl to reveal she was sexually assaulted live on air, whilst attached to a polygraph. Again in 2011 Sandilands was censured by the ACMA for calling a female journalist a “piece of shit” and a “fat slag” and told her “to watch your mouth or I’ll hunt you down“.
The ACMA responded in both cases by imposing additional licence conditions on 2DAYFM’s owner. In 2010, following the incident with the 14 year old girl the station had a condition imposed to safeguard the wellbeing of children on air. In 2012, a further condition was imposed that the station does not broadcast things which demeans or is likely to demean women or girls.
This station demonstrates a history of this behaviour and censure for it.
The ACMA will no doubt be investigating them yet again in light of the tragic news that the nurse, the subject of a prank call by 2DAYFM presenters, has taken her own life. It may be looking at whether or not what they’ve done is “demeaning to a woman” or whether it’s time for more serious sanctions against this broadcaster. It’s clear that the many additional training programs they’ve been required to run may not have been sufficient to kerb their enthusiasm. Its licence could be on the line here.
With Lord Justice Leveson currently in Sydney speaking about media regulation in England, perhaps he might stay a while longer.