Vox FM: Voice of the anti-vaxxers, not the voice of the Illawarra

I wrote the following on the Vox FM Facebook page:

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not all opinions are equally valid, and I’m surprised to hear you ran the misleading and dangerous views of Meryl Dorey. Perhaps you should consider the effects on disease transmission rates in the community from airing her views, particularly since many of the children in the child care centre next door to Vox FM are on partly immunized. [And in case it’s not clear: this comment isn’t defamatory about Meryl, since the truth is a defence under NSW law.]

Vox FM then, rather than addressing my comments, deleted them, and then made a post saying:

Regrettably some people have recently been banned from this page & comments removed. This has come about not because of their position on a recent Vox interview but rather the way in which they stated their position. Their cause would be aided immeasurably if they chose to debate the issues at hand instead of making personal attacks on the interviewer, interviewee & indeed the station.

PS Whether these people had a genuine interest in Vox is questionable given they live interstate.

Vox FM: The issue here is that you broadcast unchallenged the views of someone not qualified to speak on vaccinations, and this is dangerous. Also, for the record, I’m not interstate, I live in Wollongong.

Oh, and one more comment they deleted, by Mike Mayfield, worth repeating:

Maybe so, Vox FM, but not everyone who has a proven track-record of attempting to deliberately mislead the public is entitled to masquerade those attempts as “opinion” on the radio and remain immune from criticism. Perhaps you should better research the background of your guests next time, so that you can inject some truth into the debate either during or after their interview.

Update: Since Vox FM now state that they only accept complaints to their PO Box, despite this not being stated on their contact page (complaints out of sight = out of mind? I wonder what the ACMA make of their complaint handling process, I will be writing to their snail mail address (via registered mail for tracking, and at my expense) on Monday with the following complaint:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to make a formal complaint about your interview of Meryl Dorey. Her views as expressed on the show have no basis in scientific research, and it is dangerous that you allow them to be aired unchallenged. I request that you interview a qualified medical research / medical doctor and allow them to respond to Meryl Dorey’s claims. I request that you put her claims to them in writing before-hand to allow for a proper response. Please keep me informed via email to mattjb at me dot com of all steps taken as part of that process, and give me advance warning of at least one day, when you will air the response.

I also wish to complain that you not only ignored, but deleted my complaint on your Facebook page. You list the Facebook page on your contact page, http://voxfm.org.au/contact.html , and do not state there (as you now do on Facebook only, after ignoring my complaint made on your Facebook page), that you accept complaints only in writing to your PO Box.


Dr Matthew Berryman

Figtree, NSW 2525

2 thoughts on “Vox FM: Voice of the anti-vaxxers, not the voice of the Illawarra

  1. Also, it’s on Dave Collins’ YouTube channel with other antivax material. This makes it of international interest. Censorship of Dorey’s critics is a powerful statement indicative of an evidence vacuum.

  2. Vox FM are in breach of the Community Radio Broadcasting Code of Practice by stating they only accept written complaints to their PO Box. Code 7.3 states that a complaint can be via letter, fax, or email.

    They seem to be involved in a bit of a competition as to how many parts of the Code they can actually breach dealing with the one topic. Either that, or they just don’t have a clue about their own broadcasting rules. They would want to treat the complaints seriously. If they don’t, the ACMA will investigate after 60 days have elapsed and that could work against them. They will create a lot of work for themselves.

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