Ofcom raps radio station for antisemitic 'joke'

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2009

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has upheld a complaint against an Asian community radio station which broadcast an antisemitic joke sent in by a listener.

A volunteer presenter on Radio Faza, a Nottingham-based channel aimed at women in the city’s south Asian community, read out the text message on September 25, during the daily News Today show.

He introduced the message as a “joke”, and said: “Jewish kid next door just asked me for a water fight…thought I would text while the kettle is boiling.”

The presenter then repeated the remarks for listeners who may not have “understood the joke” the first time.

Ofcom received one complaint and agreed that the comments broke its rules on offensive material.

Following an investigation, the regulator said the station had admitted the comments were “unacceptable and offensive”. The station manager had taken disciplinary action against the presenter, who also made an on air apology.

Publishing its findings, Ofcom said it was “concerned that the broadcast of a ‘joke’ against the Jewish community, made on an Asian radio service, was likely to be perceived as hostile and inflammatory”.

It noted the on air apology and improvements in compliance training since the incident.

Radio Faza, which translates as “fresh breeze”, is run by local volunteers, broadcasts in nine languages and has been on air since March 2002.

Last updated: 3:09pm, December 23 2009