SBS launches multilingual Coronavirus news and information portal

SBS has launched the SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal, a dedicated online information hub for multicultural communities to easily access accurate and trusted news and information about COVID-19, in their language.

The portal provides one place where the many Australians who speak a language other than English can come to for the latest news and resources across more than 60 languages, produced by SBS Radio and SBS News.
Director of SBS’s Audio and Language Content, Mandi Wicks, said: “Reaching those who speak a language other than English with vital public health information is essential to saving lives, and SBS plays a unique and critical role in keeping communities informed during challenging and uncertain times. It has never been more important to ensure Australians are getting the information they need to protect themselves and their communities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“The SBS Coronavirus Multilingual Portal provides a central hub and go-to source for people to access accurate news and information they can trust, and stay informed with the latest must-know updates about COVID-19 in their language. It also provides easy access to unique coverage of the impacts and issues being faced by different communities, as well as positive stories of resilience in communities that are important at a time like this. 
“As events have unfolded, SBS has been providing comprehensive coverage in more than 60 languages across our radio services, in addition to news in English from Australia and around the world. We’re seeing more Australians turn to SBS as they seek information they can trust about issues affecting their communities.”

SBS Radio’s Mark Cummins spoke to radioinfo about the new portal:

Have your news and program teams had to change the way they are working to meet the demand of the new webpage while (presumably) some or all of them are working from home?

Our regular programming is Australian focussed news and information tailor-made for our audience communities so we have been able to pivot our production teams to cover the Coronavirus’ impact on air and online as part of our core B.A.U. The new portal aggregates the coverage we’ve done on the outbreak since our first reports – and adds new factsheets and explainers.

Any other significant trends you are seeing since launching the page?

We’ve seen a significant trend with audiences engaging with fact sheets and explainers. We’ve also seen spikes around ‘hyper local’ stories that deal with how individual communities and individuals are stepping up to assist others.

Is the growth from Australia or internationally?

We have seen traffic increase from abroad – but the majority of the growth in traffic has been from local audiences. 

In recent weeks, SBS’s language services have experienced significant audience growth. Compared to just over a month ago, daily visitors to SBS Radio language websites have increased 70 per cent1, and installations of the SBS Radio app have more than doubled2.
The SBS Mandarin service has experienced an 89 per cent increase in daily visitors to its website 3, and the SBS Korean service is up 209 per cent compared to its daily average4 – examples that demonstrate how Australians are coming to SBS for news relevant for their communities. 

The SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal can be accessed at The portal highlights key information and updates about COVID-19, including the latest news in English, and visitors can then select one of more than 60 languages to browse coverage produced by SBS in that language.   

  1. Adobe Analytics, Australian Unique Visitors. 14 February – 12 March 2020 and 18 – 24 March 2020.
  2. Adobe Analytics, First Launches. 14 February – 12 March 2020 and 18 – 24 March 2020.
  3. Adobe Analytics, Australian Unique Visitors. 14 February – 12 March 2020 and 18 – 24 March 2020.
  4. Adobe Analytics, Australian Unique Visitors. 14 February – 12 March 2020 and 18 – 24 March 2020.


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