Why we still need Alan Jones | radioinfo

Why we still need Alan Jones

Thursday 31 October, 2019

Comment by Jen Seyderhelm

A decade ago, I was working as a radio announcer in regional Queensland. A couple of my colleagues were serving it up to Kyle Sandilands. I doubt I need to let you know what they were saying, or if what they said would come as any surprise to Kyle. Sitting nearby was the late, great radio man Terry Kerr. He said,

“Why don’t you actually listen to him and think about what he’s doing right?”

For the last five years, on and off, I have shared a portion of my working day with Alan Jones. Alan won’t know my name or face but I have panelled, scheduled, edited and provided live advertising copy to the man in the building at Pyrmont. Long time listener, never a caller. I have endured countless ribbings over the amount of time I have had to spend listening to 2GB Breakfast. Again, like Kyle, I doubt any of this will come as any surprise to Alan. It takes considerable courage to admit to liking the man and his brand of radio, despite his 122 consecutive survey wins in the tough Sydney market.

Yet, here I am.

I’m not going to trouble you radio people with a recap of Alan’s Jacinda Ardern comments. They weren’t the most savoury. Alan apologised. If, across your entire adult life, you have never made a foolish comment to or about someone and had to apologise, then I’m going to suggest either you don’t go out much or have few friends left. We’ve all done it. Keyboard warriors, take the advice of my mother (it’s actually from the Bible, but mum used it on me ALL THE TIME) and remove the log from your own eye before you remove the speck from your brother’s. Let’s all move on.

Alan is in the very rare position in the media now where he is genuinely able to say what he thinks. Like him or not, we need these people. They may not always conform to your own beliefs but the crux of the matter is that Alan does not use his position to spruik his shampoo brand, become an Influencer or encourage people to view pouty pictures on Instagram. If you actually listen, you’ll find that the issues Alan “goes on about” are critical to the good health of our nation. Will we have access to water? Where is our food coming from? Political secrecy. In the last couple of weeks he took PM Scott Morrison to task over his response to the drought and heard from a very emotional Kirsty from Berrigan who had zero water left, livestock she and her husband would have to sell and an overflowing Murray River just 30km down the road that she’s unable to touch. Very quietly, with no to do around his own involvement, he mentioned this week that Kirsty was going to get a water allocation. That’s a good use of media power.

A few other things I know about this very private man. I believe he works harder than anyone else in the industry. He might have a team of producers who aid his process but, having worked in both roles, you can’t just hand someone a document you’ve written on fiscal policy. The reader, whomever it is, has to understand it themselves to make it cohesive to their audience. That doesn’t even factor in the unexpected element of debate on a topic. Imagine the diversity Alan and his team encounter every day? And, he then writes opinion and commentary too, never seeming to falter on dates, names and purpose.

Radio is a tough game. Turnover is frequent. Some of Alan’s colleagues have been working with him for a very long time. His crew are generous with their knowledge, respectful of Alan and their show. They know how thorough and exacting they need to be with people, dates and statistics, but, they are also fun and filled with Dad jokes.

If you listen, you’ll know Alan ends each show with one of these; the cornier the better. Irrespective of the light relief, some days I find it hard to put the show down after I’m finished with it. Kyle Sandiland’s great gift is that he is allowed to say the things we all think, but are too scared to articulate. I appreciate his value to the media landscape and, engage whenever he opens his mouth. Alan’s show leaves me with the feeling that I could and should be actively doing more to make a positive future for my children. That (thanks Terry) is what Alan continues to do right.


About the author

Jen Seyderhelm is a radio announcer, producer, news reader, lecturer, Rockwiz victor and podcaster.

Her podcast, 20/40, celebrates friendship and conversation between two women with a 20-year age gap. In her spare time, Jen does stand up comedy, is writing her first book, and posts music trivia around her vast collection of vinyl singles daily, online.


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31 October 2019 - 9:19pm
I strongly disagree with your opinion piece. Alan Jones knows exactly what he is doing when he opens his mouth to and about people in the manner he does. You say foolish comments, I say he's too intelligent for that. Look at how he speaks on Q&A and compare that to 2GB. I'm not sure he's ever had to apologies for comments made on Q&A. Seems he can control himself on Q&A but not on his radio station.

And by golly has he oops, said something foolish and had to apologise on the radio. He's had to publicly apologise to a number of women now, among them, Jacinda Ardern, Gladys Berejiklian, Louise Herron and Julia Gillard. He's also had to apologise to men, I remember he called Malcolm Turnbull a traitor to the nation. He's been found guilty of defaming quite a number of people, the Wagner family, John Coates, Bill Harrigan and David Parker. He's been sued many times for defamation, found guilty of racial vilification, guilty of contempt of court of a children's criminal court case, he's breached the ACMA standards, and the list goes on.

No sorry. Most of us might make the odd foolish comment, that doesn't describe what Alan Jones does. I'd call what he does more like a cycle of abuse.

I even remember reading a story about his time as a teacher at Brisbane Grammar school. Nobody would let the journalist report on their names and in fact the majority of those interviewed remained anonymous because in their opinion, if you weren't 100% loyal to Alan, he would act like a bully, heckle you and make your life hell by their accounts.

Personally I've had enough of the man. In Alan's latest incident, the words he used about Jacinda were that he hoped our Prime Minister would backhand her and further, that he should shove a sock down her throat. Now that might be acceptable in your world, no judgement if that's what you like, but in Australia more than one woman per week is being killed by her significant other, over 50 of them this year already! The police are called to domestic violence incidents every two minutes and in my opinion Alan's words openly promote violence against women and there’s a direct link between talking about violence and actual violence.

Words from a former staff member of his... 'Alan seems to have a problem with women. He treats us like we have no business being in the workforce. His language is gutter level.'

The standard you walk by, is the standard you accept.

Anthony The Koala
31 October 2019 - 9:24pm
Here here!
Anthony of exciting Belfield
1 November 2019 - 1:33pm
Well I have no trouble in admitting that I appreciate Alan's 'brand of radio'.
But I can do without Kyle ... and whingers INSULT REMOVED BY EDITOR
1 November 2019 - 2:36pm
That's ok T K, the feeling is entirely mutual as people like you are also part of the problem because you don't see an issue with it.
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