Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has rubbished claims by 2GB host Ray Hadley that the radio network was censoring coverage of a court case because it involved one of its advertisers’ employees.
The case focuses on a truck driver who worked for West Orange Motors who was involved in a fatal crash, and was subsequently charged with dangerous driving causing death and negligent driving causing death – only to have his licence handed back by a magistrate, according to The Australian.
The radio shock jock used his morning show on 2GB on Wednesday to accuse SCA of pulling his broadcast from Triple M Central West whenever he mentioned the legal case in order to protect West Orange Motors as an advertiser on the station.
Initially, Triple M Central West issued a brief statement on its Facebook page apologising to listeners for pulling Hadley’s feed, arguing that the court case he was discussing on-air was not permitted.
Now, SCA has gone one step further in defending its actions, saying they were not influenced by any “commercial considerations”, and that Hadley’s attempts to frame the issue as censorship and free speech was “misleading”.
Here’s the follow-up statement that SCA issued yesterday afternoon in full:
Southern Cross Austereo broadcasts the Ray Hadley Show live in a number of its regional radio markets including Orange, NSW, pursuant to a supply agreement with Macquarie Media, the producer of the program.
On several occasions this week as a result of legal advice, SCA has decided not to broadcast parts of the program. These decisions were based solely on legal advice and were not influenced by any commercial considerations, including the fact that West Orange Motors has a commercial relationship with SCA.
Attempts to frame this issue as one of censorship and free speech are misleading.
On Monday 11 October, the broadcast of the program contained discussion of a case currently before the Orange Local Court, in which a young man has been charged with dangerous driving causing the death of an elderly man. The incident occurred whilst the man was at work test-driving a truck owned by his employer – West Orange Motors.
While SCA appreciates the significance and the impact on the Orange community of this case, SCA was concerned that the material broadcast was potentially in breach of Australian contempt of court and defamation laws.
In relation to contempt, media organisations in Australia are required to exercise extreme care when reporting on stories which are currently before the court. The law states that once a person has been charged with an offence, reporting is limited to the bare facts of the case and what is said and heard in open court. This is to ensure that the accused has a fair trial; that the merits of the case are not debated in the public arena during the trial; and that witnesses and jurors do not come to the trial with a preconceived notion about guilt or innocence.
In SCA’s view, Monday’s segment contained material which went beyond the parameters of legal court reporting of a trial.
Given the live nature of the program and the host’s public opinion that he does not consider his comments to be of concern, since Monday, SCA has declined to air any part of the show that refers to the case because of the risk that further problematic material may be aired.
Furthermore, given the risk of further defamatory statements being made, SCA has extended the decision not to broadcast parts of the program relating to the case to all of its stations that air the program.
Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]
Awindependent PR Agency Agent99 has added The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) to its client roster, alongside thought leader and commercial property specialist, Helen Tarrant. DISCUS is a national trade association representing U.S. producers, marketers, and exporters of distilled spirits. The account was won following a competitive pitch earlier this year. DISCUS has […]
Melbourne-based independent creative agency, By All Means, has today released limited edition ‘Locktown’ t-shirts to create a positive, artistic commemoration of their city, while shining a spotlight on the significant impact of lockdown on the mental health of Victorians. After 235 days under strict stay-at-home orders, Melbourne today claims the unenviable crown from Buenos Aires […]
Global marketing agency, Komodo, has announced it will be launching a dedicated TikTok arm to the business in Australia, following a series of key industry hires and new creators signed to their roster. The agency, who partners brands with social influencers across the globe, aims to bring a new dimension to influencer marketing by assisting brands […]
According to Fifth Dimension CEO Lyndall Spooner, whether you like roller coasters or not, we have all been riding ‘Dashed Hopes’ the COVID-19 emotional roller coaster for over 18 months and many of us have turned to online retail therapy to cope. Spooner uses the analogy of an emotional roller coaster to depict consumers’ […]
Underscoring its ongoing commitment to team care and wellbeing, during and beyond the pandemic, Havas Village Australia has introduced be together – a reconnection initiative to enable staff to reconnect with loved ones for longer when domestic and international borders reopen. The initiative, which reflects the Havas core value ‘Better Together’, gives staff from Host/Havas, […]
Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has ranked a group of 50 brands selling on Amazon.com.au based on a set of best practice criteria it has developed. Pet brand Zenify topped the ranking in Pattern’s Amazon Australia Benchmarking Report, scoring 82 per cent of the possible marks against a set of criteria designed to measure […]
Fifth Dimension Consulting has announced the expansion of its executive leadership team in response to the organisation’s significant growth over the last 18 months. Lyndall Spooner has moved from the position of managing director to the role of chief executive officer (CEO). As CEO, she will lead Fifth Dimensions’ innovation arm, as well as the […]
GoDaddy Inc. has today announced the Australian launch of GoDaddy Studio, a new content creation tool designed for small and medium businesses to create beautiful visual content for their business for all platforms. Compatible on both iOS and Android mobile apps and desktop, GoDaddy Studio includes thousands of customisable templates and easy-to-use tools, providing small […]