Your View :: Language on FBi

August 18th 2011

We've been doing some deep f*@#ing soul-searching here at FBi HQ.

At this week's station meeting we were thinking on the hard words sometimes hitting up your airwaves, and wondering what our listeners make of them. Some of our very favourite songs have a hefty dose of cussing, and some really slammin' tunes have some pretty uncomfortable themes.

Under the community radio codes of practice, we're pinkie-sworn to these conditions:

3.3 We will not broadcast material that is likely to stereotype, incite, vilify, or perpetuate hatred against, or attempt to demean any person or group, on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, language, gender, sexuality, religion, age, physical or mental ability, occupation, cultural belief or political affiliation. The requirement is not intended to prevent the broadcast of material which is factual, or the expression of genuinely held opinion in a news or current affairs program or in the legitimate context of a humorous, satirical or dramatic work.

3.2 We will attempt to avoid censorship where possible. However, in our programming decisions we will consider our community interest, context, degree of explicitness, the possibility of alarming the listener, the potential for distress or shock, prevailing Indigenous laws or community standards and the social importance of the broadcast.

3.4 We will have programming practices that protect children from harmful material but will avoid concealing the real world from them

Some tunes are surprising and some are shocking, as is a chunky slab of history's artistic canon. And the real world has some blue language in it, although we try and keep that out of kiddie ear-shot during morning and arvo shows. Station staff, presenters and volunteers stormed brains on these questions this week, and we want to hear your thoughts too:

What kind of language do you find offensive?

Should FBi play music that would offend some of our audience?

If so, how do we play it? FBi's current language policy is mainly concerned with the big swear words like F*&k & c%$#t. Do you think we should have guidelines around playing music with strong or offensive themes? How would you phrase these?

What do you reckon? Are some of the words heard on FBi too much for you? Or do musical products with artistic integrity sometimes stray outside conventional society's comfort zone? How can we strike a balance between respecting all listeners and also artists?


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