The Australian Communications and Media Authority found that Jones, in a broadcast on radio 2GB in 2013, falsely claimed that a 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change draft report had "disproven" the panel's own climate change theories.
According to Jones, in his broadcast, the United Nations report on climate change "got it wrong by almost 100 per cent." He claimed a previous IPCC report in 2007 stated the planet was warming at the rate of 0.2 degrees every decade, and said the updated report put the figure at 0.12 degrees - "almost a 100 per cent error".
ACMA does say that 2GB conceded that the comments broadcast were inaccurate but submitted they were based on an article from mainstream media (The Australian) and that the inaccuracy was corrected by Jones within two hours of the initial comments – but “in any event, there was a range of credible material that threw doubt on the original article from The Australian.
The authority said the investigation found that 2GB did not use reasonable efforts to ensure that factual statements made by Jones were “reasonably supportable” as being accurate.
It also found that a “purported correction” by Jones was not adequate and appropriate in all the circumstances and “did not cure the breach.”
The offending segment on Jones’ 2GB breakfast show was aired on 24 September 2013 and, while the investigation report was finalised last year, publication was delayed after Harbour Radio challenged in the Federal Court the ACMA’s power to investigate, and its actual findings.
But, a ruling by the Federal Court in April this year included confirmation that the ACMA has an independent discretion to commence ‘own motion’ investigations under section 170 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, and affirmed the ACMA’s approach to factual accuracy and corrections under the Codes.