MELBOURNE Jewish Radio (MJR), which ran defunct community station Lion FM, breached several aspects of its licence conditions, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The media watchdog, which initiated an investigation of Lion FM after receiving complaints, has released its full report into the probe.
ACMA found that MJR failed to “continue to represent the community interest it represented at the time the licence was allocated”.
It also concluded the station failed to “encourage members of the community that it serves to participate in the operations of the licensee”.
The report said ACMA received a written complaint on behalf of 14 people in March, alleging the station was not operating in accordance with its licence.
The complainants claimed Lion FM was “not representing the wider Jewish community, was not encouraging members of the community that it served to participate in the service, and did not have a logging system”.
The report acknowledged a response from MJR in April, in which management claimed Lion FM continually monitored community needs, and denied it did not represent “the wider Jewish community”.
“The community is in fact the mainstream Jewish community,” MJR wrote. “This community and its definition has not changed in any way during the life of the radio
But ACMA concluded that MJR had not represented the community, stating that “licensees that continue to represent their community interest have appropriate organisational structures, regularly review the needs of the communities they serve, and have diverse program schedules which reflect the needs of the communities they serve.
“Based on the submissions from both the complainants and the licensee, the objects in MJR’s constitution that appear to be limiting the community interest it is licensed to serve are to promote the centrality of the State of Israel in Jewish life and to promote Zionism.”
The report stated “the importance of Israel as a Jewish state is not under consideration” but “as with any community, there will be a variety of views and opinions. MJR should ensure that its policies and procedures do not limit is capacity to represent that community interest. This may include allowing the broadcast of critical analysis on matters of interest to the community.”
The claim that the station did not have a logging system was rejected by ACMA, the report stating “MJR did have appropriate systems in place to keep a record … of its content.”
John Kraus, a former MJR president told The AJN the findings reflected the reasons he resigned from the station earlier this year.
MJR’s acting president Menachem Khoen was approached by The AJN for comment, but did not respond.