Mediacorp fined $6,300 for using derogatory term on air

A fine of $6,300 has been slapped on Mediacorp by the Media Development Authority (MDA) for its deejay's use of a derogatory term on air.

On March 20, Mediacorp radio deejay Joe Augustin used a derogatory term on Ms Cassandra Chiu, who is blind, for complaining that the visually-impaired were being discriminated against and denied food at McDonald's.

Ms Chiu, who moves around with a guide dog, had earlier posted on Facebook that she was refused free muffins at the fast food outlet because she is blind.

Ms Chiu has been vocal on social media about being rejected at local establishments, such as clothing store Forever 21 and ice-cream shop Haagen-Dazs, because her guide dog was not allowed in.

Irritated by her constant complaints, Mr Augustin used an offensive term on her,and repeated it on air the next day to ask listeners if he was justified in doing so.

MDA said in a statement on Wednesday: "As a free-to-air radio broadcaster, MediaCorp is expected to observe the requirements laid out in the Free-to-air Radio Programme Code which seeks to protect community interests by ensuring broadcast programming do not offend good taste or decency."

Its spokesman added: "In Singapore, radio broadcast reaches almost all homes and is easily accessible to all people, including the young.

"Because of its impact, programmes over radio must at all times maintain a standard that is acceptable to the community and does not offend good taste or decency".