''Tired'' and ''immature'' prank phone calls have no place on
the airwaves, according to regional radio stations in Otago.
After the death of a British nurse on Friday last week, just
days after she was duped by two Australian radio presenters
during an on-air prank, local radio stations have said they
would hold to their existing policies of no prank phone
Port FM Network general manager Brent Birchfield said Port
FM, which operates radio stations in Oamaru, Timaru,
Ashburton and on the West Coast, had never conducted prank
calls, and never would.
The company had a long-standing policy that the public should
not be put in a position that would cause humiliation or
embarrassment on air, Mr Birchfield said.
Radio stations that conducted prank calls that caused
embarrassment to people should have their licences revoked,
Setting people up on air was ''just not acceptable'', he
''We don't actually believe in that type of thing. The
company has a policy of `don't do it'.
''We just don't go there - it's immature radio. Other
stations that do it should really be jumped on hard by the
Broadcasting Standards Authority.''
Radio Wanaka owner Mike Regal said Radio Wanaka was a
community radio station and prank calls were not in keeping
with its values.
''It's not something we would do.''
However, he added he had previously worked in corporate
radio, and it was clear that the practice was actively
''encouraged'' by some commercial operations.
Mediaworks Southern Lakes and Central Otago general manager
Wade Cornelius said the Queenstown-based More FM station had
revisited all of its on-air processes as a result of the
''As far as our policy regarding prank phone calls - we are
continually amending our policies, not just in this area. We
have revisited our process thoroughly as a result of the
weekend's events. We are completely satisfied our process is
ethically and legally sound.''
The station had not conducted a prank call since 2009, Mr
The format was dropped because it was already becoming
''tired'', he said.
''Prank calls are a very rare occurrence here. Whenever they
have been aired it has been with the recipient's permission