Saturday, August 15, 2009

Media Watch - The Kyle and Jackie O episode.

‘Media Watch’ Hosts (top from left) Paul Barry, Jonathan Holmes, Richard Ackland, Monica Attard, David Marr, Liz Jackson and Stuart Littlemore; targets and stories included (clockwise) the Cronulla riots, Naomi Robson, Jonathan Shier, Janet Albrechtsen, John Safran, Ray Martin, Shane Paxton, Alan Jones and John Laws. Graphic: Colin Hamilton

I watched an episode of 'Media Watch'(ABC1, Monday 9.20pm) on Monday (3 Aug). The presenter Jonathan Holmes commented on the incident that happened on the Kyle and Jacki O show at radio2day FM in the previous week which involved the presenter's insensitive questions to a fourteen year old girl. He questioned why the ACMA (the regulatory body for radio) rarely investigate breaches of broadcast law.

Holmes also showed a clip from another segment of Kyle and Jacki O's show from last year which involved reuniting a niece(19 yrs old) and her aunt. There was a surprise twist to the show when Kyle threatened to send the niece back to the U.S.A without meeting her aunt. The manager of the show suggested to the niece that she beg Kyle to let her stay. The subsequent film footage of the emotionally distraught women crying and begging Kyle to unite them was displayed live on the stations website. Afterwards the niece indicated she felt cruelly exploited by the shows team.

Holmes implied that this type of broadcasting is tabloid journalism at its worst and that it exploits peoples emotions and dignity to get good ratings. He concluded by stating that with the latest episode of Kyle and Jacki's antics Australian radio has sunk to a new level of grubbiness. It will be interesting to see what results/changes arise from the investigation (if one actually occurs).

Media Watch is a great show because it provides critical comment on current media and exposes inaccuracies and breaches of media regulations and law.There seems to be a problem with the broadcast laws about what constitutes public decency. They are too vague and thats why these kinds of shows are allowed to air. One part that could be made more specific is to protect the rights of children.

Reference: Holmes, J, Media Watch, ABC1, 3 August 2009.
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