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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 26 October, 2014

‘Racist and prejudicial’ comments went unchallenged on 4FM show – BAI

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has upheld a complaint made against the The David Harvey Show on 4FM.

David Harvey's show on 4FM was dropped in May but reinstated in August.
David Harvey's show on 4FM was dropped in May but reinstated in August.
Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

A COMPLAINT BY the Galway One World Centre alleging that racist comments went unchallenged on an edition of the The David Harvey Show on 4FM has been upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The complaint related to the 16 January episode of the show this year which included a discussion on a report by the ESRI about whether Africans people living in Ireland are subject to discrimination when seeking employment.

The BAI committee concluded that as the programme developed, statements that it considered racist and prejudicial were permitted to be aired by callers to the programme.

The BAI said that these included the following statements made during the programme:

  • ‘Blacks’ are “very lazy.’
  • ‘Black Africans’ always “get up on their high horse” if challenged.
  • ‘Blacks’ have a certain DNA related to their work ethic and practices.
  • Filipinos in Ireland are “scammers.”

The committee decided that in this case the broadcaster had failed to moderate the programme in accordance with its obligations:

In this context, the committee noted that these remarks and others like them went largely unchallenged by the presenter and that the programme facilitated the airing of such remarks.

The BAI also noted it its judgement that callers to the programme of African ethnicity were treated differently to other callers.

“While these callers went on air to discuss discrimination in the workplace, each of them was questioned by the presenter or a caller about his or her legal status as a resident in Ireland,” according to the BAI.

Complaint

The complaint was made to the BAI by Sharon Murphy on behalf of One World Centre and alleged that  ”it is the view of many people that Classic Hits 4FM is becoming a platform for people to articulate their racist views towards African People and members of the Traveller Community”.

Harvey had strongly rejected the allegations made by the  Murphy in respect of negative disinformation about Africans and Traveller behaviour. He stated that the programme is specifically targeted at RTÉ’s Liveline audience and is generally based on the issues of the day.

The BAI did not agree with the complainant that the programme constituted evidence of systematic failures by 4FM. The committee also concluded that the moderation and and contributions by Harvey did not constitute racism.

The David Harvey Show was dropped in May but then re-instated in August due in response to what the 4FM said “listener demand”.

Read: Presenter’s ‘medical cards for Africans’ monologue “lacking in impartiality or objectivity” – BAI

Read: How the rules have changed for broadcasters when it comes to referendum coverage >

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