2Day FM DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig
2Day FM DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig

Media watchdog investigates 2Day FM royal prank call

AUSTRALIA'S media watchdog has launched an official investigation into the 2Day FM royal prank call.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority confirmed this morning the investigation would focus on whether 2Day FM breached its broadcasting licence by airing the prank to King Edward VII's Hospital in London.

In launching the probe ACMA exercised its discretionary powers to commence an "own motion" investigation rather than acting on an official complaint.

Jacintha Saldanha, one of the nurses who was duped by the hoax call, committed suicide late last week.

Ms Saldanha was the nurse who transferred 2Day FM DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig, who were impersonating the Queen and Prince Charles, through to the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness.

It is understood Ms Saldanha left a suicide note, but its contents remain unknown.

Southern Cross Austereo chief executive Rhys Holleran earlier this week said the radio station made numerous attempts to contact the hospital before airing the prank call.

It is a claim the hospital strenuously denies.

Code 6, Clause 6.1 of the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice and Guidelines 2011, which deals with interviews and talkback programs, states that: "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, or; b) In the case of words which have been recorded without the knowledge of the person, that person has subsequently, but prior to the broadcast, expressed consent to the broadcast of the words."

In a statement ACMA said it planned to "expedite the investigation" and had no plans to make further comment.