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Sunday 9 December 2012

Jacintha Saldanha death: "There is more to tragedy than meets the eye", says Jane Hansen. Plus, ACMA Commercial Radio Code of Practice

If anyone knows how the 2Day FM duo at the centre of the phone hoax linked to the death of London nurse Jacintha Saldanha feel right now it is journalist Jane Hansen.

Those with a sharp memory for news will recall that Jane was implicated in a story for 'A Current Affair' which ended in tragedy.

She says in an article for News Ltd:

"Fifteen years ago I did a story for A Current Affair on a television repair man who was overcharging for work not done.

It goes down as one of the most despicable pieces of journalism in Australia because of its outcome.

It was the weekend promotion for A Current Affair and it ran on the Monday of that week. This man committed suicide several days later.

I can't begin to fathom the pain his family has been through, although I have met with them and cried with them, I will forever blame myself for walking in the newsroom that day and being assigned that story and not seeing the disaster that was coming."

She adds: "There are so many questions and what-ifs when it comes to suicide.

But I also feel for the two radio hosts.

No one sets out in search of such an outcome.

Yet in the face of such a tragedy, the blame game begins.

I'm not going to sit in judgment, nor do I want to sound like an apologist.

But I will say that suicide leaves everyone gutted and searching for answers.

There is no way such a silly prank should lead to such a tragic outcome, but the radio duo will blame themselves - and there will be plenty of haters ready to fan such thoughts.

As a human being, I feel for the pair because I have been there."

To read the entire article, click here.

What are your thoughts on this tragedy?

For backgrounders, click here and here.

There are also questions raised about whether the radio DJs - Mel Greig [you might also remember her from Australia's 'The Amazing Race' in 2011, as part of the sister duo] and Michael Christian - broke rules set by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Commercial Radio Code of Practice (Sept 2011) which states:

“A licensee must not broadcast the words of an identifiable person unless:

a) That person has been informed in advance or a reasonable person would be aware that the words may be broadcast

b) In the case of words which have been recorded without the knowledge of that person, that person has subsequently, but prior to the broadcast, expressed consent to the broadcast of their words.”

And so, in this instance, it’s clear that the two DJs involved have broken the rules.

Please feel free to share your thought below.

Here is a photo of Jacintha Saldanha. RIP.

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