Listeners hit out at bad taste on radio

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 May, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 May, 1995, 12:00am

RADIO listeners have attacked distasteful jokes and conversations on air that set a bad example for children, a survey published yesterday by the Broadcasting Authority shows.

Although most listeners are happy with the quality and variety of programmes many are irritated by on-air violence, explicit sexual discussions, slang and bad taste.

The survey of 1,500 people, conducted by International Research Associates, showed a significant proportion of the population were radio listeners and 88 per cent tuned in frequently, at least once a week.

About 46 per cent of respondents who tuned in over the past six months said jokes and conversations in bad taste were a problem. One example last year involved agony aunt for Metro radio, Pamela Pak.

Pak told a caller to pok kai sei, or drop dead in the street, in her programme.

The phrase is considered to be a form of swearing in Cantonese.

About 23 per cent of those surveyed found material too sexually explicit and 20 per cent found violence a problem.

The report said 20 per cent found many programmes contained distasteful jokes and dialogue, 16 per cent said many had inaccurate pronunciation and 15 per cent said there were bad examples to children.

Many of the complaints stem from the recent surge in popularity of late-night talk shows and gossip shows.

Stations have been warned by authorities for slip-ups where coarse language, explicit dialogue on sex and violence has gone on air particularly from agony aunts and callers.

Director of Metro Broadcast Craig Quick said radio was changing to keep up with listeners' tastes.

In order to reach target audiences broadcasters had to speak their language, even if it included slang or courser dialogue.