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SBS continues to alienate and betray its audienceSBS continues to alienate and betray its audience

This was first published by Pearls and Irritations on 12 January 2022. The full text is presented here as written by Save Our SBS president Steve Aujard. It was Brian Johns, then Special Broadcasting Service managing director, who in 1987 came up with the idea of supplementing SBS’s taxpayer subsidy by broadcasting ads between TV programs. “I hope I haven’t created a monster,” he told me during an interview over coffee on 6 February 2013 at Cafe Cavallino in Carlton.… »

SBS WorldWatch new channel this yearSBS WorldWatch new channel this year

A new news channel, to be called SBS WorldWatch, is soon to launch and feature an extensive line-up of bulletins from leading international broadcasters in more than 30 languages. A spokesperson for SBS did not say if any of the in-language bulletins on WorldWatch will be subtitled in English. In the past they weren't. Two new 30-minute Arabic and Mandarin language TV news programs are to be produced locally by SBS and broadcast in prime time every weeknight. These new… »

End In-Program Ads On SBSEnd In-Program Ads On SBS

SEND MY EMAIL Even though ads on SBS are legislated to be in “natural program breaks”, SBS forces more than 60,000 commercial breaks into programs annually. But forced breaks are not natural. That high volume of forced breaks explains why 95% of SBS viewers nationally say: “most in-program advertising breaks on SBS look forced or artificially contrived and it would be misleading to describe these as natural program breaks”. It was SBS – not… »

SBS live COVID-19 updates in multiple languagesSBS live COVID-19 updates in multiple languages

SBS is providing real-time, live interpreting in multiple languages of the Victorian and NSW daily COVID-19 press conferences.  How to watch the NSW press conference in your language: • Watch the daily 11am NSW press conference on television with live interpreting in Arabic on SBS TV, and in Vietnamese on SBS VICELAND. • These and other key languages are streamed live on SBS On Demand. • Daily live interpreting is also available via SBS Facebook… »

NAIDOC returns to SBSNAIDOC returns to SBS

The first week of July is NAIDOC Week! The National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) has its origins in the 1938 Day of Mourning. In 1975 NAIDOC became a week-long celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Schools, government agencies, local councils and workplaces are now beginning to recognize and participate in this event. SBS invites all Australians to celebrate NAIDOC 2021 with a… »

See What You Made Me DoSee What You Made Me Do

On average, one woman a week is killed by a current or former partner in Australia* and most Australians who experience domestic abuse will never report it and their abusers will never be called to account**. SBS's landmark documentary series See What You Made Me Do explores an epidemic that has no signs of slowing. Hosted by investigative journalist, Jess Hill, and inspired by her award-winning book of the same name, See What You Made Me Do will ignite a crucial… »

Easy English newsEasy English news

SBS have a daily news bulletin for new English speakers – SBS News in Easy English. It is a great initiative. Bulletins of SBS News in Easy English are read slowly using simplified language and run five minutes. Content mostly focuses on Australian news and the text of each bulletin is available on the web, app, or whatever plateform is used to listen. The idea of news in easy English is not new. In radio's hey-day, all the big broadcasters ran 'news in simple English'.… »

2021 slate: This year’s line-up2021 slate: This year’s line-up

In its 2021 slate of original, entertaining and insightful content, SBS is featuring the network’s biggest ever local commissioned content offering, with distinctive stories. This year's programs' include • Five new commissioned drama series across SBS and SBS On Demand in 2021: Copping it Black, The Unusual Suspects (pictured), New Gold Mountain, Iggy & Ace and The Tailings • New 200-episode series, The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, weeknights on SBS… »


The results are of the THREE QUESTION POLL are in. ► There are too many ads and promos on SBS. Agree: 97.91% Disagree: 2.09% Total Votes : 6753 ► SBS has too many commercial breaks disrupting programs. Agree: 97.78% Disagree: 2.22% Total Votes : 6664 ► Most in-program commercial breaks on SBS look forced or artificially contrived, and it would be misleading to describe them as natural program breaks. … »

SBS hour logged with 50 percent more ads than allowedSBS hour logged with 50 percent more ads than allowed

SBS appears to have 50 percent more advertising in some primetime hours than the SBS Act permits according to a series of findings carried out by Save Our SBS from 2009 to 2020. Promos were not counted. Nor were classification announcements, community service announcements, sponsor billboards and sponsored promos. Under section 45* of the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 advertising is limited to “not more than 5 minutes in any hour of broadcasting”. Promos do… »

End COVID For AllEnd COVID For All

COVID-19 could push over 70 million people around the world into extreme poverty - and we all need to play our part! In Australia, SBS has been informing communities on SBS Radio and in 63 languages in print at the SBS coronavirus portal. This is an amazing service. But now Save Our SBS is asking you look further afield and pledge support to End COVID For All. Many of our neighbours around the world are ill-equipped to deal with a pandemic. So it’s time we offered a… »

Poll: overwhelming support for fully-funded multicultural, multiethnic, and Indigenous programs for children on SBS but with advertising restrictionsPoll: overwhelming support for fully-funded multicultural, multiethnic, and Indigenous programs for children on SBS but with advertising restrictions

An overwhelming majority of SBS viewers want the broadcaster to present programs for children provided those programs are fully-funded, without advertising or reliance on advertising. A total of 3,981 viewers were polled in two separate polls - one on Facebook, the other on Save Our SBS - in which participants were asked separate questions about multicultural, multiethnic, and Indigenous programs for children. The questions and findings of the Two question poll on… »

New SBS Chair: familiar faceNew SBS Chair: familiar face

A new Chair has been appointed to SBS: Mr George Savvides AM. He is appointed for a period of five years, effective from today. Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, “We have previously met George as he was the Deputy Chair of SBS for three years.” SBS Managing Director, James Taylor; said: “On behalf of the Board and SBS, I'd like to congratulate George on his appointment. “Since being appointed as Deputy Chair in 2017, and most recently as Acting Chair, he… »

Two question poll: SBS children’s TVTwo question poll: SBS children’s TV

A government initiated Options paper proposes SBS be obligated to broadcast or stream a quota of children's TV. We'd like to hear your views. Take the TWO question poll below and leave a comment below that too. SBS is not currently required to carry programs for children but if it were, do you agree or disagree that—— More information at the Save Our SBS Australian content and children’s TV on SBS – a submission to the Supporting… »

Australian content and children’s TV on SBS – a submission to the Supporting Australian stories on our screens—Options paperAustralian content and children’s TV on SBS – a submission to the Supporting Australian stories on our screens—Options paper

Earlier this year, a government initiated Options paper authored by the Australian Communications and Media Authority with Screen Australia considered how best to support Australian stories on-screen generally, and proposed SBS carry a quota of children's content. The communications department then asked stakeholders to comment on the options in the paper. Below is the submission that Save Our SBS made in respect of that. To enable Save Our SBS… »

When the 1991 Parliament incorporated the phrase “natural program breaks” into the SBS Act it intended the placement of advertising on SBS television would not disrupt programs, that SBS not present itself like a commercial broadcaster and that “natural program breaks” would be restricted to:-

  • Mr SMITH Liberal  half-time in a soccer match … in effect what will happen is that advertising will top and tail programs
  • Sen ALSTON Liberal  natural program breaks, one would think that it is not too difficult to identify … clearly the half-time break in football and other sporting programs is a fairly common occurrence. The topping and tailing of programs so that good quality films are not massacred by advertisements is something that most people will readily identify with and recognise the breach of very quickly
  • Sen COLLINS Labor  natural program breaks will be so unobtrusive on audiences as to be almost undetectable
  • Mr LEE Labor  advertisement–at the beginning and the end of the sponsored program. In that way the viewers were not disturbed and were not constantly interrupted, as is the case on some of the commercial television programs
  • Mr SINCLAIR National  let us not try to get the advertising revenue that will make the SBS another commercial channel. If we do, again, that will change its character, and I do not think that is really what we are about

Save Our SBS – friends of SBS – joins all supporters and every friend of SBS in celebrating SBS radio, television, digital and online services. We are a not-for-profit association and defend the original special purpose of SBS. We advocate greater public funding for SBS, value multilingual & multicultural programs, and treasure the diverse culturally rich service intended for SBS – without in-program commercial breaks.

At SBS, we share the concerns of media organisations in Australia and around the world of any activity which has the potential to impact freedom of the press.

The ability of journalists to hold individuals and organisations to account, to scrutinise and bring to light matters in the public interest, is critical to any democracy and underpins the trust Australians have in our independent media.

We stand by our colleagues across the industry in continuing to defend the values of a free press.

James Taylor, SBS Managing Director, 7 June 2019

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