Seven Victorian ethnic communities will receive daily news bulletins regarding COVID-19, in their own language, broadcast on their local community radio station from next week.
As Victoria continues to struggle with Covid, the state government has provided funding to the National Ethnic Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) to deliver reliable information in different languages in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s ‘second wave’ to ensure official announcements including health warnings and updates are accessible.
The Multicultural News Service (MNS) will provide 3-minute daily bulletins in seven languages: Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Pacific Islander English, Greek and Mandarin with potential to include Punjabi, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and African communities.
The bulletin will be broadcast across 15 Victorian community stations, with over 50 play-outs a week to an audience of over 600,000 people.
NEMBC Chief Executive Officer Russell Anderson said: “The funding shows that providing reliable information in ethnic languages is important for community health and a high priority.
“We are very excited about this project. We have been very proactive in this right from the start when the pandemic broke in March this year.
“Community radio is one of the most effective ways to reach non-English speaking communities, and it’s so important that they have up-to-date information to limit risks of transmission and infection.”
As a response to the initial COVID-19 pandemic, in May, the NEMBC commenced production of a national daily news service off its own back. By the end of June, over 166 5-minute news bulletins were broadcast across 29 radio stations in every state and territory across Australia per week.
The MNS news service will ensure there is a consistent flow of reliable information for multicultural communities with news bulletins including headline issues, health warnings and multicultural stories.
The project has been funded by the Victorian Government CALD Communities COVID 19 Taskforce