Final selection criteria for SBS Radio Services Review now available

SBS has revealed the final selection criteria it will apply to a review of its radio services to ensure SBS Radio continues to reflect the needs of communities in Australia today. 

SBS received more than 600 submissions, representing 85 languages, during a period of public consultation from 14 November to 11 December 2016 which gave people and organisations the opportunity to provide feedback on the criteria that was being proposed. 

The submissions received were taken into consideration in finalising the criteria published today. The criteria will now be used, in conjunction with the 2016 Census data, to determine which languages will be provided by SBS Radio services. 

SBS will determine how the languages will be delivered across AM and FM radio, digital radio and digital television, online and podcast services, taking  into account factors including audience listening habits, the need to support audience demands for anytime, anywhere news and information via digital platforms, and the changing demographics of Australia’s diverse communities. 

SBS Director of Audio and Language Content, Mandi Wicks said: “We are committed to ensuring the language services we deliver reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of Australia today. We are also committed to ensuring the SBS Radio Services Review is a robust and transparent process. We have listened to the many people who have provided valuable feedback, and today we have released the clear criteria that will help inform which languages SBS will need to deliver to meet the needs of contemporary multicultural Australia – from the largest communities, to high needs and emerging communities – with a revised schedule to be announced later this year.”

The last review of SBS Radio was conducted during 2012-2013, and it was the first major review of the radio services SBS provided to communities that had been undertaken in 18 years. At the time, SBS committed to reviewing its schedule in line with the release of each Census. The result from this review will serve audiences from late 2017 until the next Australian Census in 2021 prompts the next review in 2022.  

Changes that have been made to the criteria after the public consultation include:

  • Reflecting the growing number of high needs communities by allowing SBS flexibility to increase the number of high needs languages to more than 15 if funding permits;
  • Taking into greater consideration the English language proficiency of new arrivals and older migrants; and
  • Reducing the weighting of household income as a secondary indicator in the review process. 

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