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Letter of apology to members of the Granite Belt Community Association and listeners (7th February, 2019)

posted Jan 12, 2016, 5:22 PM by TenFM Webmanager   [ updated Feb 10, 2019, 4:12 PM ]

In some respects your comments are well founded although to place blame entirely with Ten FM may be unfounded. Whatever the extent of that, I wish to register a profound apology to the various people associated with you, Nathan Colyer and the Rev. Colyer. I acknowledge that Ten FM could have done better in some respects. I consider that there are a number of people associated with Ten FM who would do well to lift their game and extend their regret at the events which occurred over the last few months. I have asked them to formulate an apology as well and hope they will comply promptly with my request.

I do believe that you have assumed the causes of various issues in your communication and I wish to clarify them if I may.
•    The post tagging Alan Colyer was not initiated by Ten FM. The Ten FM Facebook page has been kept up-to-date by the one member who has been associated with the station for 33 years and has been responsible for the FB page for nearly all the time it has been in existence.
•    As Nathan Colyer has pointed out, the post was edited a number of times in part to clarify the identity of the “Peter” in the post as myself and not Peter Robinson.
•    Ten FM stood to gain nothing from tagging this picture and this was clearly understood by the administrator who has advised me that the offending post was not edited or deleted by him, and to the best of his knowledge the only reference to Alan being tagged was probably from a modified screenshot of the original post.
•    In the nearly ten years since the Ten FM Facebook page was set up, we have never had cause to remove a post for any reason. Since last weekend, we have reviewed the security measures incorporated in the page and it is no longer possible to post anything without the admin’s approval. However, we have not done this for comments as we do not wish to stifle the interchange of community comments (both good and bad) on this social media channel.

The “on-air tirade against the Rev. Colyer” was actually a local news item. It was recorded by telephone with Mayor Tracy Dobie (who was in Warwick) and with Peter Robinson in the Tenterfield Ten FM studio. To the best of my knowledge Mayor Dobie has never visited the Ten FM studio in person. The content of the local news item was intended to be only a part taken from a lengthy conversation between Peter Robinson and Mayor Dobie. The task of editing the whole conversation was undertaken by another person, who failed to follow the detailed instructions supplied to him by Peter Robinson. Unfortunately the file, with its flaw, was played as a news item. It points to a major failure of common sense and attention to detail which in my estimation is not representative of the standard of work which this other person usually provides. If you heard a conversation after you spoke with Peter Robinson, it very likely that the local news item was going to air again at a time when its flaw was just coming to light. In hindsight it was a failure on our part not to broadcast the point of view of the Granite Belt Community Association about de-amalgamation, before this incident occurred. It is also unfortunate that barriers went up to prevent that from happening after the broadcast.

I trust that you will take into account this sincere apology when you consider your decision to take this to the ACMA. I believe I have identified a number of failures by Ten FM to present a balanced view about a major issue for the southern downs region and our failure to foresee that someone with little care for the reputation of the Rev. Colyer or Ten FM took it upon themselves to use our Facebook page in such a malicious manner. It is my intention to learn from this event and avoid a replication in future. I trust that you will circulate this communication to the members of the Granite Belt Community Association as I only have email addresses for you and Nathan Colyer.

To demonstrate my concern that the reputation of Ten FM, and members of your association, is an issue of great importance, I intend to disseminate this letter in full on the Ten FM Facebook page and the Ten FM website.

Thank you for your time and attention in reading this rather lengthy response to your concerns.


Peter van Schaik
President, Ten FM