SBS review provokes public concern

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Criticism of the radio scheduling review of ‘Language Programs for Ageing Established Communities’ currently being carried out by SBS Radio has circulated around Australia in the past few weeks. Although most has originated from the Greek Australian community, the Australian trade union that governs the Australian entertainment industry, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, has also spoken out about the way in which SBS has carried out their review. In a public statement, the Alliance has expressed concern that the public consultation process provided by SBS around the review, which is internet-based, does not allow a large portion of non-English speaking and computer illiterate SBS viewers to have their say. Jenny Mikakos, Labor minister for the Northern Metropolitan region of Victoria, has agreed, issuing a letter to SBS Radio. In response to the widespread concern among the Greek Australian community, Mikakos has publicly commented on the potential reduction of Greek language broadcasts that ageing Greek migrants in particular rely on for news. President of Fronditha Care, Mike Zafiropoulos AM, JP, agrees with Mikakos, saying that the SBS review is far too simplistic. He raises the relevance of factors such as the ‘number of people who speak the language, stage of settlement, age profile, and English proficiency’, which he claims that SBS have not considered fully. He also mentions that other factors, including socio-economic status, educational background or religion might have an influence on a migrant’s reliance on foreign language radio broadcasts. Jenny Mikakos takes her concern further, claiming that SBS are not using relevant data to inform their review, saying: ‘I am also concerned that both the Large Languages Criteria and High Needs Language Criteria are based on projected census data for 2020 rather than the current population.’ The review by SBS was open for public comment throughout April, with the new selection criteria for radio scheduling to be issued on their website during May 2012.last_img

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