Royal Watch News
Radio hoax bans prank calls
Dec 10, 2012, 12:02 GMT
An Australian radio station at the centre of the royal nurse hoax have banned all prank calls on their shows.
Southern Cross Austerio (SCA) have announced a string of measures which will be put in place following the apparent suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who put a call from 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian through to another staff member at the King George VII hospital in London, where Duchess Catherine was being treated for acute morning sickness, under the mistaken belief the callers were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.
The station's parent company have also announced the Hot 30 Show hosted by Mel and Michael will be terminated, while it is not yet certain when the pair will return to work.
Additionally, all advertising on 2Day FM has been suspended indefinitely and in a statement, SCA have promised a 'comprehensive review of relevant company policies and processes'.
SCA Chief Executive Officer Rhys Holleran said: 'First and foremost we would like to express our deep and sincere condolences to the family of Jacintha Saldanha for their loss. We are very sorry for what has happened.
'As a leading commercial radio broadcaster, we must ensure that our internal processes and protocols are robust. We don't claim to be perfect and we always strive to do better. We have initiated a detailed and rigorous review of our policies and procedures to inform any improvements we can make.
'We are also providing support to our people who are deeply saddened by this tragic and unforseen event.'
Despite concerns being raised over the airing of the segment, SCA do not believe any laws or protocols have been breached, and they insist they made attempts to contact the hospital before broadcasting the hoax.
They added in the statement: 'The Company has conducted a review of the process undertaken in the airing of the segment which has found that company protocols were adhered to. Several attempts were made by the production team to discuss the segment with the hospital, but with no success. The segment was referred to an internal review process which included internal legal review and authorisation was granted to broadcast.
The Company does not consider that the broadcast of the segment has breached any relevant law, regulation or code. The Company will fully cooperate with any investigations.'
Jacintha's brother Naveen believes the nurse 'died of shame' because she was so upset at having unwittingly helped breach patient confidentiality by transferring the call.
He described his devoutly Catholic sister as a 'proper and righteous person' who would have been 'devastated' by the truth of the call.
He added to the Daily Mail newspaper: 'She would have felt much shame about the incident.'
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