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Preston radio station rapped by Ofcom over transgender comment

Posted on - 3rd September, 2017 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Politics, Preston City Centre
LJ presents Drive Time and Saturday nights on the station
Presenter of the Big Drive Home was found to have made offensive comment

A Preston radio station has been criticised by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules.

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The radio regulator received a complaint about a comment made during a CityBeat FM show about transgender people.

Presenter LJ was found to have caused offence to transgender people for his comments about a fellow presenter’s trips out on the town.

The edition of the station’s drive-time show The Bigger Drive Home, on Thursday 8 June, broadcast the comment.

CityBeat apologised for any offence caused in the programme and explained the remarks had been made ‘without thinking’. They said the presenter had ‘never done this kind of thing before’.

Operated by Preston Community Radio, and formerly Preston FM, the radio station broadcasts from studios in the Guild Hall complex.

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Ofcom found CityBeat had breached rule 2.3 of its broadcasting code which says ‘in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context’.

A statement from the regulator said: “Ofcom first considered whether the broadcast contained material which could be considered offensive. The presenter sought to make a joke by referring to a colleague’s experience with transgender people. We considered this had the effect of portraying transgender people in a negative and derogatory way and therefore had the potential to be offensive.

“Ofcom went on to consider whether this content was justified by the context. In our view the topic of listeners’ birthdays was likely to have been broadly in line with listeners’ expectations of this drive-time programme, containing music, speech and listener interaction with a light-hearted, jovial tone.

“However, Ofcom considered that this context did not justify the potentially offensive reference to transgender people.

“We took into account that the presenter went on to say: “And by the way, I was only joking about transgenders and [another CityBeat presenter]”. In Ofcom’s view, this may have
provided some limited mitigation to the potential offence. However, we considered that the presenter’s use of the collective noun “transgenders” had further potential to cause offence.”

CityBeat is currently operated by Preston Community Radio and has two directors Leroy Allen and Anthony Gilmour. The station relaunched with the CityBeat name in May 2015 after previously being run as Preston FM.

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