The Australian Communications and Media Authority has ruled while 2GB breakfast radio host Alan Jones was unlikely to incite serious contempt, ridicule or hate of a race, he did breach “generally accepted standards of decency” when he used the ‘n’ word in a broadcast last August.
The ruling followed mass criticism of Jones after he used the term “n***** in the woodpile” in a broadcast on August 23 last year in reference to Mathis Cormann and the liberal party leadership challenge involving Peter Dutton.
Following the investigation, 2GB owner, Macquarie media, has said the phrase will not be used on-air again.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said: “The phrase used by Mr Jones has not been acceptable as part of everyday speech in Australia for some time and does not belong on our airwaves.”
Following the incident last year, Jones apologised on social media and on-air the next morning.
He said: “I used an old and offensive figure of speech that I regret saying.
“People should be honest and forthright in their actions and that is not happening in the Liberal Party right now.”
Despite the apology, numerous complaints were made to the ACMA after the broadcast and Jones’ apology.
While Macquarie Media conceded the phrase should not have been broadcast, they argued that the phrase was “incapable” of conveying meaning about people of colour because Cormann, who Jones referenced, is not a person of colour.
ACMA concluded 2GB’s apology, which happened within several hours of the broadcast and Jone’s on-air apology were appropriate responses to the breach and were also happy with the promise not to use the phrase on air again.
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