2GB talkback shock-jock Alan Jones was back on air today commercial free but with plenty of bite.
Jones complained about cyber-bullies targeting advertisers on his program.
And labeled a Mercedes Benz manager who repossessed his car a “gutless wonder”.
Verity Stone Reports.
Alan Jones’ show went to air without advertising as a result of attacks on sponsors through social media websites.
Calls for his resignation and boycotts to 2GB sponsors have been strong, particularly on Facebook.
More than 60 advertisers have pulled sponsorship, including Mercedes Benz, who’ve also asked the talkback host to return his company car.
Legally, Jones hasn’t breached any regulations and it’s also disputed whether he should resign from an ethical standpoint.
Elizabeth Cranley, UQ lecturer: “I don’t think he should be taken off air and I don’t ethically think you can take someone off air because you don’t agree with what they’re saying however he definitely stepped over a line.”
Greg “Marto” Martin, Triple M Host: “He’s a very popular man on radio, so base it on that, yeah he hasn’t broken any ACMA codes, so why not?”
In Brisbane, 4BC is run by the Macquarie Radio Network, which also own 2GB.
While other local broadcasters have condemned Alan Jones’ opinions, they agree what’s said in a public forum can’t be regulated too closely.
Andrew Bartlett, Community Broadcaster: “I don’t think you want to regulate in any specific way to public forums, and we do have a strong history of freedom of speech in Australia, but every freedom has its limits.”
Mr Bartlett says this isn’t the first time Mr Jones has got away with breaching radio license criteria, but the validity of his statements are objectionable.
Andrew Bartlett, Community Broadcaster: “I think in that respect Alan Jones has got away with a number of things in the past that really, if we had better regulation of our media might have been pulled up a few times previously.”
Although criticism about Jones is strong, few are willing to predict his broadcasting days are over just yet.
Verity Stone, QUT News.