INTERNATIONAL: ’Cash for comment’ station rapped by authority

Sydney: The radio station at the centre of Australia’s ’cash for comment’ scandal, 2UE, has had special conditions imposed on its licence.

Sydney: The radio station at the centre of Australia’s ’cash for

comment’ scandal, 2UE, has had special conditions imposed on its

licence.



Last year, 2UE presenter John Laws was exposed as having received

payments from, among others, the Australian Bankers’ Association,

national airline Qantas and News Corporation subsidiary Foxtel, in

exchange for favourable on-air mentions. It later emerged that another

presenter, Alan Jones, had a similar arrangement with Qantas and with

telecoms firm Optus.



The Australian Broadcasting Authority has now ruled that 2UE must

’maintain a regime of on-air and off-air disclosure of certain

commercial agreements between presenters and their sponsors’.



Laws and Jones will have to say they are paid by a sponsor each time

they mention their name, products or services, or interview an executive

from the sponsoring company.



Last July, media observers noticed a reversal of Laws’ critical public

stance against banks, before it emerged he had struck a deal with the

Banker’s Association said to be worth almost pounds 180,000.



Edited by Gidon Freeman.



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