IT may have begun as a harmless prank, but when British nurse Jacintha Saldinha took her own life after answering a hoax call from the 2DayFM DJs it sparked worldwide debate on such calls and the privacy and rights of those inadvertently caught up. Britain already has some of the toughest laws in the land after a number of embarrassing gaffes and MARTIN CAMPBELL one of the country’s chief architects for their laws tells European Correspondent CHARLES MIRANDA Britain’s media has some hard questions to answer but so too it’s about time Australia gets its house in order.

Quite the cocktail of ingredients for inflaming a situation…

“QUITE clearly if the radio prank did not breach broadcasting laws in Australia it should have done. It’s actually as simple as that.

It was certainly a breach of broadcast laws of the regulator Ofcom here in the UK simply because for all prank calls these days you do need the permission of those people involved if there is no public interest defence and there is no public defence on this one. So I would have thought that it should be in breach of laws. They didn’t look at what they were doing.

I know it sounds very spoil sport but I helped write the code in the UK that actually demanded written permission is required from people if it is to result in some distress or public ridicule. This clearly falls under that bracket. That needs to be prevented, and if the Australian laws don’t prevent this they need to be changed fairly quickly.

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  • stephen says:

    04:59pm | 02/01/13

    And the crack Scotland Yard are right on to it, too. There’s a team of them, right as we speak, trowlling through the archives of the British Library, just to see if the horrible couple of DJs’ have said anything else that has causes death or injury. Never mind that… Read more »

  • Ray says:

    03:47pm | 02/01/13

    Our ‘holier than thou’ ABC is just as hypocritical, as it has persistently been blasting the FM station concerned   for the tragic happenings. The 2DayFM DJs’  prank was typical of the pranks that the ABC Chasers team used to get up to. Read more »


Something struck me last night as I watched the 7.30 report on the 2DayFM prank scandal. After three days of the story I was only half paying attention until radio veteran Mike Carlton piped up about how the Austereo management had let down “these kids” who were now at the centre of a firestorm.

I'm totes ready for Field Day - Mum have you washed my lower-back support garment?

He was expressing the view of many people on this topic, but I had to go back and check. Michael Christian probably does qualify as a “kid” in media circles. He’s 25. But the other half of the Hot 30 team that is now in hot water, Mel Grieg, is 30, and until recently taught at the Australian Radio School in Adelaide.

According to the ARS website: “We’ll teach you everything from classic communication techniques, producing great shows, copywriting, voiceovers, commercial production, promotions, all the way through to using new media like podcasting and internet radio to score your first gig.”

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  • Anne says:

    06:48pm | 11/12/12

    The fact is they pranked called a hospital which is the first unacceptable thing they did, they posed as a high profile patients family to gain private information of an ill pregnant patient. THEN Austero management in their infinite wisdom chose to AIR this private information & prank call, humiliating… Read more »

  • Ladyjane says:

    06:38pm | 11/12/12

    The DJs were quite happy to ‘own’ and brag about the prank when it was all fun and giggles. It was the highlight of their lives (in itself pretty pathetic). Now that it’s gone to custard, it’s someone else’s fault. Says it all, really. Read more »


This evening, the radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian sat down with the TV networks to tell their side of the story about the suicide death of a nurse who had transferred their prank call on.

Talking to A Current Affair, they talked about their pain. They pleaded ignorance of the process 2Day FM follows approving prank calls. And they told of other phone calls. The calls that told them Jacintha Suldanha had died. “It was the worst phone call of my life,” a sobbing Grieg said. Read all about it at News.com.au.

Shattered. Pic: Channel 9

On the weekend, Irish crooner Brian McFadden tweeted: “Men who hit women are pathetic. Women who make excuses and stay with the guy are just as bad.”

In case that needs clarification, what he is saying is that a victim of domestic violence is as bad as a perpetrator of domestic violence. She is just as bad as the man hitting her. 

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  • Dj says:

    04:35pm | 11/12/12

    At the age of 30 these “kids” are fine example of today’s society in Australia. Childish brainless individuals who will not take responsibility for their actions.  If I drove my car and hooted at an annoying cyclist and he veered off the toad killing himself, I would be criminally charged.… Read more »

  • Tanya says:

    03:01pm | 11/12/12

    Jacintha Suldanha must have felt frightened or at the very least, unsupported, probably by her employer and it is supremely ignorant to blame anybody at Today FM for anything more than poor decision-making and failure to consider potential consequences. The public backlash is unwarranted. Maybe people are just sick of… Read more »


It was only a matter of time before geeks clad in Guy Fawkes masks started some sort of vigilante action against 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian.

And… enter Anonyomous.

They’re like serial hackers Anonymous with an extra dose of self importance. So that’s a lot of self importance.

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  • Cars says:

    06:04pm | 10/12/12

    @ Concerned Citizen. I hope you aren’t too busy doing productive stuff that you have no time to laugh, joke or prank. I also hope that you aren’t suggesting that anyone that thinks producing laughs, jokes or pranks is worthwhile has their life priorities all wrong. Read more »

  • marley says:

    05:51pm | 10/12/12

    @subotic - yep, just about there.  I’m waiting for Cilla’s evidence of anything.  I suspect it will be a long wait. Read more »


We already have enough laws, right down to inconsequential matters such as the colour of cigarette packets and what we’re allowed to wear on our heads when we ride bicycles. Beyond laws, we have conventions and standards that further guide behaviour. Barely any element of our lives escapes regulation.

The decision to broadcast the prank went beyond the two new DJs… network boss Rhys Holleran pictured this weekend.

Yet the inevitable response when something goes wrong is to demand still more regulation, even in cases where regulation already exists.

The UK, for example, is currently trying to stay awake during endless analysis of the Leveson inquiry into the media – an inquiry that ended up recommending new media rules on top of rules currently in place. As Private Eye editor Ian Hislop wondered: “Why can’t we just enforce the laws? The ones we already have against phone hacking, harassment, libel, bribery etc etc.”

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  • St. Michael says:

    06:17pm | 10/12/12

    So they say.  At what time, 5:40 in the morning for England? Ring five times and cheerily announce that no one was there? Read more »

  • bsw says:

    06:09pm | 10/12/12

    Tim Blair is a champion Well done! Good article Read more »


What a tragic and shocking development in a story that until now had been the butt of even Prince Charles’s jokes.

Probably in hiding ... Mel Greig and Michael Christian

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, the King Edward VII Hospital nurse who was the first to fall for 2DayFM’s prank Queen call the other day is dead. She’s a wife and a mother and her family, friends and colleagues must be utterly beside themselves.

We don’t know why she’s dead but right now a lot of people are putting the blame at the feet of Sydney DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian. The pair has taken themselves off air and shut down their Twitter accounts but that will not be enough to quell the growing bi-hemisphere storm of outrage being directed their way.

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  • Garry says:

    04:57pm | 08/12/12

    Cause and affect, its not the guns that kill but the person pulling the trigger, oh wait, if you know the cigarette kills you dont have to buy it from us and you use the same excuses, this is what we need in the media apologists. They ridiculed the woman,… Read more »

  • Gayle says:

    04:54pm | 08/12/12

    I think that the DJs were responsible for the death.  They are both extremely irresponsible, and so is the Radio Station for allowing the prank to go to air.  They deserve all the chastisement that is coming their way. Read more »


There was only so much the Australian Communications and Media Authority could do to sanction 2DayFM over Kyle Sandilands’s sledge against news.com.au journalist Alison Stephenson.

This man gets paid to know what young women want…

But I’m most interested in what Southern Cross Austereo CEO Rhys Holleran had to say in response to ACMA this morning. Essentially Sandilands’s boss reckons it’s “unworkable” for 2DayFM to comply with ACMA’s ruling it refrain from broadcasting material that “offends generally-accepted standards of decency, demeans or is likely to demean women or girls, places undue emphasis on gender, uses overt sexual references in relation to a woman’s physical characteristics, and/or condones or incites violence against women.”

Holleran said: “Our difficulty with the proposed licence condition is that terms such as ‘decency, ‘demeaning’ and ‘undue emphasis on gender’ are broad and ambiguous and mean different things to different people.”

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  • Nordine says:

    11:30am | 31/05/12

    before, these pictures are aboleutlsy gorgeous. I know some other couples who were recently engaged and their engagement photos are nothing like these. I can’t believe how soon the wedding is! So happy/excited for you both Read more »

  • rgfe says:

    08:50am | 28/05/12

    One word says it all: MORONS. The people who work there: MORONS. The people who hired them: MORONS. The people who listen to the show: MORONS. Like attracts like. Read more »


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