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Future of SBS: government seeks public submissions

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, is consulting the public on the future of Australia’s national broadcasters, the SBS & ABC. Comments from the public are welcome.

This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to make your thoughts about SBS known directly to the Minister via the Departments online submission form.

We will make a submission and we strongly encourage you to make one too before 12 December 2008 at the Department’s online form. See URL under the box of our suggested questions below.

You may use any or none of the below to help you write a submission.

* Should the SBS Act be changed to forbid the interruption of programs with advertisements?
* Should SBS be better funded from the public purse?
* Should SBS TV broadcast more programs in LOTE (languages other than English, with subtitles) in prime time?
* In terms of programming, do you think SBS is adhering to its Charter?
* Do we need an Australian version of Top Gear on the SBS or would such a program be more appropriate for commercial TV?
* What do you see as the main difference between commercial and public broadcasting, and do you believe that the current management of SBS understands that distinction?
* Should SBS be allowed to carry advertisements on its web sites?
* Do you want SBS to provide more program downloads from its web site?
* How should program downloads be paid for:-
  from overall government funding for the broadcaster?
  by web site advertisements?
  each download user is charged directly?
* Do you want SBS to provide downloads in both lower quality for people using ‘dial-up’ as well as higher quality for people using ‘broadband’?
* Do you want SBS-TV to transmit an extensive EPG (electronic program guide) for the entire week as other broadcasters currently do?
* What are your thoughts on the second SBS TV channel?
* Should SBS remain separate and independent of the ABC or should our two public broadcasters share some resources?
Are you happy with SBS-radio?
* Any other comments?

Make your submission on the form at the government web site at this link: http://www.dbcde.gov.au/media_broadcasting/consultation_and_submissions/abc_sbs_review/make_a_submission/online_submission_form

Submissions close 4pm EADT on 12 December 2008.

Other Info

A discussion paper has been prepared by the Minister’s department for comment or you can make your own comments on any topic you like.

If you would like to refer to the longer discussion paper visit http://www.dbcde.gov.au/media_broadcasting/consultation_and_submissions/abc_sbs_review

SBS Board Appointments

Senator Conroy also recently announced a new process for making appointments to the SBS and ABC boards which will make the selection process more transparent. Details at http://www.dbcde.gov.au/media_broadcasting/abc_and_sbs/abc_and_sbs_board_appointments


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