Updated Political and Election Matter Guidelines

Frieda Lee, 14th March 2022

As of March 2022, the ACMA has updated their guidelines for broadcasts of political and election matter.

The Political and Election Matter Guidelines help broadcasters understand:

  • what is meant by 'political and election matter',
  • our obligations when broadcasting political and election matter.

In response to recent legislative changes, the ACMA has made some minor updates to the Guidelines. 

The majority of the changes are small adjustments to the definitions of the terms explained in the guidelines. These changes are unlikely to have an impact on your station.

There are two changes which community broadcasters should note:

  • Shortening the name of a political party in a tag - Some additional details have now been provided on how to tag a broadcast authorised by a political party. The update to Table 1 on page 6 explains that a tag may shorten the registered name of a political party by removing the end words 'Australia', 'of Australia', or 'incorporated'. Any abbreviation or branch/division name may also be deleted. For example if a party is registered as 'Quokka Party of Australia Inc. —NSW' it may be shortened to 'Quokka Party'. A political party may also be referred to by its registered abbreviation.
  • Tags in more than one language - A new rule for our multilingual services to be aware of is that a tag must be spoken in the same language as the broadcast, unless the broadcast is in two or more languages, in which case the tag may be spoken in English.

We have updated our resource on Political Matters & Election Coverage to reflect these recent changes. 

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The Broadcasting Services Act (1992) stipulates broadcast law regarding media coverage of local, state and federal elections. It is the responsibility of every community broadcaster to ensure that these laws are observed, as a condition of the station's licence.


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