The media watchdog has used its discretionary powers to investigate the now infamous royal prank phone call and bypassed 2DayFm’s right to first reply.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has said it will “expedite” its investigation into the Today Network with its “own motion” investigation.
Stations are normally given 60 days to reply to complaints before criticisms can be passed onto the ACMA.
ACMA said its enquiry will focus on the licensee, the Today Network Sydney, and not on presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian.
Chris Chapman, chairman of the ACMA, said: “The ACMA’s formal regulatory relationship is always with the relevant licensee (and not the presenters of any broadcast in question).”
“The ACMA will be examining whether the licensee has complied with its broadcasting obligations.”
Media Lawyers told B&T earlier this week that the station is likely to be found to have fallen foul of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice sixth clause.
In addition to this one lawyer questioned whether the DJs and the station could face criminal charges for apparently recording and broadcasting nurses at London’s King Edward VII hospital without their consent.
The watchdog’s move comes six days after the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha who transferred the prank call through to Kate Middleton’s ward at the hospital.