Penk: 2DAY FM doesn't deserve all the blame

By James Cridland for
Posted 4 March 2015, 10.42am est

Radio presenter Steve Penk, who once successfully managed to engineer a wind-up call to Prime Minister Tony Blair, says it's "odd and uncomfortable" that all the blame for Jacintha Saldanha's death is being aimed at the radio station, according to a new ruling from Australia's High Court.

Writing for, Steve says that the hospital is, at least partially, to blame.

As the Royal hospital, they had failed the most basic levels of security by putting this call through in the first place. We live in a world of blame culture, and if someone can pass all the blame to somebody else and take it away from themselves, people do it. Jacintha left three handwritten notes, one of which was directed at her employer, criticizing their handling of events. You can draw your own conclusion.

Penk, who has just launched a YouTube channel featuring his wind-up phone calls, told that "Creativity and risk-taking are vital for radio's future good health. Let's not crush it completely. Radio stations in the UK are now terrified of this type of content."

"In America, prank phone calls remain some of the highest-rated material on the air, Elvis Duran and Howard Stern to name just two. Never has it been more important for radio to keep surprising, shocking and entertaining people."

You can read Steve's entire thoughts here on

  • One of the DJs involved, Mel Grieg, will be speaking at Radiodays Europe giving her side of the story, along with Elvis Duran who also takes part in the radio conference in Milan.
  • Radio lecturer Richard Horsman says in a blog post that 2DAY FM has lost. "Let them now feel the consequences - and let's see regulators the world over standing up to crass and offensive stunts on air which tarnish the whole radio industry."
James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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