CRA’s New Commercial Radio Codes of Practice approved by ABA

The ABA has registered a revised version of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice. The codes are unlikely to meet with any opposition from Joan Warner as they were developed by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) itself.

ABA General Manager Giles Tanner, welcomed the registration of the codes. ‘The enduring popularity of commercial radio with Australian audiences makes it important that rules governing the conduct of radio services are appropriate and up-to-date,’ he said.

The revised codes contain enhanced community safeguards. The privacy provisions, which previously applied only to current affairs programming, now also cover news programs. There are also new guidelines on the treatment of suicide and mental health issues in stories about these matters. Other community safeguards contained in the previous codes have been carried over to this revised version.

The commercial radio standards, made by the ABA in 2000 following the Commercial Radio Inquiry, continue to apply in addition to the codes.

The commercial radio standards include: the Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Current Affairs Disclosure) Standard 2000; the Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Advertising) Standard 2000; and the Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Compliance Program) Standard 2000.

Research conducted by the ABA in 2003 indicated that Australians were generally satisfied with the content of commercial radio. The ABA concluded from the research that the safeguards contained in the existing codes were largely appropriate, and used this research finding to inform its consultation with CRA.

The low number of submissions received following CRA’s call for public comment reinforced the fact that people are generally satisfied with the codes in their existing form.