Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Radio 2UE Response to Faruque Ahmed

Radio2UE Pty Limited
ABN 93 000 796 887
Sydney, Level11170 pacific Highway, Greenwich
New South Wales 2065

PO Box 954, St Leonards, New South Wales 1590
Telephone 0299309954 Facsimile 02 9930 9479
9 September 2009

Mr Faruque Ahmed
PO Box 349
Alexandria NSW 2A15

Dear Mr. Ahmed,

Radio 2UE Overnight program - 12 August 2009

Thank you for your letter of 20 August 2009.

First of all, allow me to apologise that you were offended by comments made on 2UE's overnight program on 12 August 2009 (the "Broadcast"). Radio 2UE certainly does not set out to offend its listeners or members of the Muslim community.

I have investigated your concerns about the Broadcast. In doing so, I forwarded your correspondence on to Mr Ball, the presenter of 2UE's Overnight program, and discussed your concerns with him. I have also considered section 1.3(e) of the Commercial Radio Codes of Conduct ("Code") in respect to ethnic and religious vilification.

Section 1.3(e) of the Code provides that a licensee must not broadcast a program which is "likely to incite or perpetuate hatred against or vilify any person or group on the basis of age, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexual preference, religion or physical or mental disability". This test in the Code sets a high threshold for the likely effect of prohibited behaviour that is that comments must induce a strong reaction of contempt or ridicule against a group of people to be regarded as I breach under section 1.3(e).

With all due respect, I do not believe that Mr Ball's comments evoked such a strong reaction as hatred or contempt towards people of Muslim faith. Mr Ball and his caller very briefly mentioned the Qur-an in the context of a discussion on television. As with any religious texts, I anticipate that there may be more than one interpretation of the content or meaning of those texts. Clearly you disagree with his view. However, it certainly was not the aim of the program to incite hatred against Muslims or to generate disrespect towards the Muslim faith. Furthermore, I cannot see how it could reflect badly on Muslims even if they did ask Bob Hawke to prevent Australian soldiers from wearing uniforms at home. Therefore, I do not believe that listeners would feel such severe emotions as hatred or contempt for Muslims as a result of this broadcast.

As you know, Radio 2UE operates a talkback radio format. I am sorry to hear that your friend did not get on to the program that night. Unfortunately, time constraints do not allow us to put every caller to air. Radio 2UE endeavours to give as many listeners as possible the opportunity to express their views to a radio audience. If for example you are listening to Mr Ball's program and disagree with any of the sentiments expressed on air, I encourage you to call in to express a differing point of view".

It was never Mr Ball's intention to offend anyone of any race or religion. I do however understand your point of view and the reasons why you wrote to us. The theme of the Broadcast was complex, and of a nature that generates different opinions. While Radio 2UE wishes never to offend any of its listeners, when some complicated topics are discussed, unfortunately, this can happen. lt is my understanding however that there is a significant difference between a broadcast that results in some finding offence and a broadcast that constitutes religious vilification within the meaning of the Code.

After careful review of the Broadcast, I feel sure that there was not a breach of the Code.

Radio 2UE values its listeners and their feedback. On behalf of the station and Mr Ball, I apologise for any offence caused by the Broadcast. Radio 2UE certainly does not set out to offend its listeners or any members of the community.

I hope that the above information addresses your concerns,

In accordance with the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice, I am required to advise you that in the event you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to refer the matter to the Australian Communications & Media Authority.

Yours sincerely

Greg Byrnes
Program Director


  1. Radio 2UE is worse than Jim Ball! Isn't it?

  2. This proves that the Media In Australia is double standard ,prejudiced,racist out of control of the government. The media authority is corrupted. No wonder why in Australia there are fewer radio and TV channels than other countries. Because the media mafia wants to have the monopoly over people for the interests of some people with extreme views. This usually leads to hatred and anti- democratic insults based on prejudice. This is what the so-called western democracy or capitalism is.