Follow The Election Rules: Macquarie Media [Report]
With elections looming in NSW and at a federal level, the staff of 2GB and 3AW have been given a list of rules to follow.
The confidential legal advice has been provided by Macquarie Media’s general counsel Alessandra Steele and has been described as “unworkable” by those at the coalface, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald published Tuesday.
Among the election rules:
- Any political party that approaches the station for an opportunity to put its position forward should not be denied, but rather, if you do not wish to put them to air in a program, they must be referred to the sales department.
- Each producer must have “written evidence of an invitation given to each politician … who appears on the station”, but not if they call through the talkback line.
- If a politician “suggests a topic to discuss” on air, the producer must make sure to turn that around and invite them, in writing, to “discuss this today, if that suits you.”
While most stations have election coverage guidelines, some of Macquarie’s big hitters are said to be less than impressed. They include 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, who let his feelings be known in a reply-all email.
“In my view, this is unworkable.”
It will be interesting to see whether everyone will toe-the-line in the weeks and months of election campaigning ahead.