Anil Thakraney: Australian radio jocks should be jailed

10 Dec,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Abetment to suicide will obviously be an unfair charge, but the two Aussie radio jockeys whose wild prank led to the suicide of an Indian-born British nurse must definitely be made to face at least some prison time.


For those of you not in the loop, an Australian station’s radio presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, made a hoax call to the hospital in London where Kate Middleton is being treated. Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse, took the call and believed the lie when the jocks claimed they were members of the Brit royal family. When Saldanha later discovered she had been made a global fool of, the sister apparently took her own life. In short, a joke gone horribly wrong.


Following worldwide outrage, the two RJs have been sacked, but I don’t think that’s enough. The two should be charged under the relevant Australian law, and they need to pay for their crazy antics. Some of you might argue that the jockeys were having a good gaffe, that they did not intend for the nurse to die. Yes, I buy that. In fact, I believe our radio stations should learn a lesson from these guys, our RJs are specialists at annoying listeners with mindless chatter. I also accept that Cyrus Broacha had been doing stuff like this for MTV, and many unsuspecting souls were made ‘Bakras’ by him. However, there’s a huge, huge difference in the case of the dead nurse.


The difference is that the idiotic RJs messed around with a hospital staffer. This simply cannot be defended. A hospital is not a place where you make ‘Bakras’ out of people, it is a place of the sick and the dying. This is not just completely unethical, it’s bloody insensitive. And the worst-case scenario happened; someone committed suicide. Clearly, all this nonsense is a direct result of excessive competition in the media. Which compels some personnel to cross the line of control. And these rubbish deeds need to be clamped down upon, the offenders duly punished. Whether it’s journalists taking money for news or RJs risking people’s safety, some prison time would set the right example for both kinds.




PS: What’s with Twitter? It seems to get the worst out of people, many end up with foot in the mouth. The latest victim is British Airways. An airline staffer allegedly retweeted a highly racist message, and the airline is in trouble for that. BA claims that someone hacked their Twitter account, though I won’t be surprised if that turns out to be untrue.


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