The role of Australian mass media regulations in Jacintha Saldanha’s death: Part 3g: “A high test for prohibited behaviours.”

Did the following official ACMA statement play a role in Jacintha Saldanha’s death: “Use of the words ‘intense’, ‘serious’, and ‘severe’ indicate that the Code contemplates a very strong reaction and sets a high test for the prohibited behaviours. It is not sufficient that the behaviour induces a mild or even a strong response or reaction.”

That statement is found on the 7th page of ACMA Report 2729, in the 3rd paragraph. Is that a safety standard or is it criminal negligence, especially given that more people in Australia die from suicide than from car or industrial accidents. Quite clearly, suicide is NOT considered to be a “serious”, “severe” or “intense” response because the mass media in Australia has a long track record of dumping on potentially suicidal people!

  1. Since 1990, suicide has been the most common form of violent death.
  2. The most common reason is Depression.
  3. People with Depression at 10 times more likely to commit suicide than people who do not have Depression.
  4. The social  group with Depression are the Unemployed who apparently comprise 36% of those likely to commit suicide.
  5. These are the ‘at-risk’ people who are routinely referred to as “Dole Cheats” or “Dole Bludgers” who are “riding the welfare gravy train” at taxpayers expense.
  6. A lack of self-worth is one of the major reasons why unemployed people commit suicide according to the National Health Priority Areas Report Mental Health 1998 report.

Incredible as it may seem, the above statistics come from the above named official report into mental health problems in Australia that was published way back in 1998. Why then does the ACMA continue to use the above mentioned “EXTREME” behaviour ‘standard for determining what is unacceptable conduct by Australian broadcasters. Doing so literally gives Australian broadcasters permission to cause people with Depression to commit suicide.

EVEN WORSE: The statement the Code contemplates a very strong reaction” is NOT based upon the reaction of a targeted victim! The “Reaction” is the perceived reaction of a mythical “ordinary reasonable person.”

It is TRUE! Check out page 2 of either Report 2729 or Report 2780.

To obtain a copy of Report 2729, just Google “acma report 2729” (no commas in the Google search box) and you can download a pdf copy of this report.

The ACMA has maintained this criminally reckless ‘standard’ for years, with a total disregard for the impact of unconscionable conduct by broadcasters upon individuals or targeted groups. What this stupid, crazy psuedo-safety-standard really does is protect the mass media from the people that are vilified or exploited for commercial gain. AS such, it means that the Commonwealth of Australia is  almost certainly legally liable for CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE for having failed to set in place safety standards that protect the (globally) community from irresponsible or dangerous conduct by Australian broadcasters.

It is no wonder that the Communications Minister, Senator Conroy,  wants to downplay Jacintha’s death as a 1 in 7 Billion fluke response to a “prank” phone call that was really an indictable offense. (See

  1. If the New South Wales Crimes Act is upheld, Jacintha’s death should be classified as a felony Murder, which means her family can also claim Victims of Crime Compensation.
  2. However, it also means that every other mass media triggered suicide can be reclassified as a murder, and with the possibility that such deaths could number in the thousands, “THE ESTABLISHMENT” in Australia is desperate to have her death written off as an isolated 1-off event.

Ronald Medlicott (A Christian advocate for welfare justice.)

Note: The short cut URL for this blog is:-

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