A Current Affair reporter Ben Fordham and producer Andy Byrne are likely to be charged today for offences involving concealed cameras and listening devices. Will this put the Nine Network’s licence in jeopardy? Normally, you wouldn’t think so.
News.com.au has the report:
A CURRENT Affair reporter Ben Fordham could face two years in jail for secretly filming an ex-mayor discussing the murder of [a] male escort.
The charges relate to the secret filming of James Robert Markham, former mayor of Waverley in Sydney’s east, who detailed his alleged plan to kidnap, torture and murder a male escort known as Alex.
And it seems they repeated the alleged offence last night by re-airing the offending part of the story from last year.
The potential charges raise the question; is an offence involving listening devices a threat to Nine’s licence? The media regulator, ACMA, has pinged ACA several times on breaches of the self regulatory code of practice and for breaches of privacy, the most recent being in 2005.
The NSW Listening devices Act has long been a bugbear of reporters on ACA and Today Tonight who want to do secret filming and recording. It’s why so many of these stories involving hidden cameras are shot in other states where the Act doesn’t apply.
What’s of interest now is whether ACMA will take up the issue, even if there isn’t a complaint.