4CA breaches accuracy clause

4CA Cairns has breached the accuracy clause of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice by broadcasting statements about Indigenous communities in Cape York.

The ACMA has found that during the Morning Show program on 3 December 2013, presenter John MacKenzie said crime rates in Aboriginal Communities in Cape York were ‘30 times greater than ours.’

“…we’ve had an influx of people from the communities, thanks largely to the alcohol management plans, but other reasons as well, we’ve had an influx of people coming here for the party and bringing their staggering crime rates from the communities, 30 times greater than ours…

The reference was made during a discussion with the Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works.

ACMA found in the context of the discussion, the ordinary, reasonable listener would have understood the reference to ‘the communities’ to mean Indigenous communities of Far North Queensland.

The licensee breached clause 2.2 of the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice 2013 as it was not able to demonstrate that in the preparation and presentation of the program it had used reasonable efforts to ensure that the factual statement was reasonably supportable as being accurate.

In response to the breach finding, the licensee undertook to counsel the presenter. Noting that this is the first Code breach by the licensee in six years, the ACMA accepted this response to the breach and has not taken any further action against the licensee.

The ACMA also found the licensee did not breach the complaints-handling clause of the code which stipulates that a licensee is required to respond to complaints within 30 business days of receipt of complaint.

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