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MediaCorp fined $6,300 for DJ's on-air vulgarity

DJ Joe Augustin had used derogatory term to describe woman

MediaCorp has been slapped with a $6,300 fine for its deejay's use of a derogatory term on air.

On March 20 and 21, Class 95FM's Morning Express radio deejay Joe Augustin used the derogatory term (a**hole) to describe a visually-impaired woman, Ms Cassandra Chiu, who had said in a blog post that she was denied service at a fast food outlet.

The same term was again used on air the following day by Augustin.

The New Paper had reported the matter on March 21, saying the Media Development Authority (MDA) was investigating.

In a statement yesterday, MDA said the use of the derogatory term has contravened the Free-to-air Radio Programme Code, which states that "obscene or offensive jokes, words, songs, dialogue should not be broadcast".

"In Singapore, radio broadcast reaches almost all homes and is easily accessible to all people, including the young," said MDA.

"Because of its impact, programmes over radio must at all times maintain a standard that is acceptable to the community and does not offend good taste or decency."

Ms Georgina Chang, MediaCorp's vice-president of English programming, radio, said: "We absolutely do not condone the use of unacceptable language and there is a strict internal process to address it.

"Joe recognises his lapse in judgment and he has apologised unreservedly on air. Radio is a passionate and emotional medium, and sometimes in aiming to engage and entertain our listeners live, DJs make mistakes in the manner in which they express themselves.

"We seek your understanding that it is never of ill intent."

SORRY

Said Augustin: "In trying to hold up a mirror to society and keeping our programme edgy, I feel I may have crossed the very same lines I've called out others on for crossing.

"And so, to those who I have offended by my choice of words on this occasion, I sincerely apologise. And I promise you that I will do better in the future."


Because of its impact, programmes over radio must at all times maintain a standard that is acceptable to the community and does not offend good taste or decency.

- Media Development Authority, which said that deejay Joe Augustin's use of a derogatory term on-air contravened the Free-to-air Radio Programme Code