Revised Commercial Radio Codes of Practice welcomed by CRA

Commercial Radio Australia has welcomed the approval and registration of the revised Commercial Radio Codes of Practice by the ABA (see earlier story).

Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner says: “The Codes have undergone an extensive review process by both the industry and the public over the past twelve months – a very important process in ensuring radio broadcasting reflects community standards and expectations.

“The commercial radio industry is committed to meeting the requirements of the Codes of Practice and providing the highest possible quality programs which are in-line with the Australian listening public’s needs.”

The Codes regulate commercial radio content “in accordance with community standards,” help listeners make “informed choices” about their radio listening and provide procedures for the handling listener complaints. They are intended to provide clear guidance to radio station staff and listeners on what is required in each of the areas covered by the Codes including taste and decency, accuracy and fairness in news and current affairs, advertising, Australian music quotas, procedures for handling complaints and broadcasts of emergency information in times of emergency.

Warner has told radioinfo that two major changes have been made to the Codes in the review process, including the addition of a clause on the unjustified use of material relating to a person’s private affairs in news programs, and new guidelines on the portrayal of suicide and mental illness on commercial radio stations.

“Following this extensive review process, and considering the feedback from members of the public, the industry is satisfied that the Codes are working effectively,” says Warner.

In the recent climate of alternative audience research from the community sector, Warner reminded radioinfo that research undertaken by the ABA last year found high levels of satisfaction with the choice of radio services available, and that radio delivers programming that meets listener needs. The research, titled: Understanding Community Attitudes towards Radio content, was undertaken in 2003 by the ABA.

The Commercial Radio Codes of Practice will be reviewed again in three years time.