1. What prompted SBS to review its radio services?

SBS has committed to regularly reviewing and updating its services every five years in conjunction with new Census data to ensure it continues to reflect the needs of communities in Australia today. Regularly updating the services enables SBS to better service the largest communities with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and offer services to emerging and high-needs communities.

 

2. What were the criteria for review and who was consulted?

During a four-week consultation process (14 November – 11 December 2016), SBS Radio received more than 600 submissions; representing 85 languages, which gave communities 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, which in conjunction with the 2016 Census data, has determined the revised language services.


  Final Language Selection Criteria for SBS Radio Services Review 2017

 

  • Large Languages Criteria: population of approximately 25,000* or greater.
  • High Needs Languages Criteria: (a minimum of 15 languages subject to SBS funding)
• Threshold requirement – population must be greater than 1,000*
• English language proficiency (weight = 45%)
• Recentness of arrival (weight = 30%)
• Ageing (weight = 15%)
• Household resources (weight = 10%)
 
  • SBS may also include a sizeable ethnic community if its needs are significant but not adequately captured in the Large Language or High Needs Selection Criteria. Factors which SBS may take into account include:
• Discrimination/Vilification: where a group is subject to frequent discrimination or vilification in Australia based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
 
• Immediate need: a significant increase in the population of a language group through Australia’s Humanitarian Program.
 

* Population size based on 2016 Census data – Language Spoken at Home other than English (LANP)

The final Selection Criteria and Census 2016 data will determine which languages are serviced by SBS. Subject to funding, SBS will determine when and how the language services will be delivered – e.g. via AM/FM, digital radio, digital television, online and/or podcast.

 


 

3. How is the ‘High Needs Languages Criteria’ calculated?

Using the High Needs Languages Criteria SBS has created a ‘high needs index’ of all languages spoken in Australia. This Index provides a framework to help SBS to statistically identify which languages to service following the SBS Radio Services Review. The High Needs index combines the weightings identified in the Selection Criteria with the demographic data supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), to create a standardised way of measuring the relative ‘need’ of a language speaking community. It does this by scoring each criteria, applying the socialised weightings, and then combining all 5 categories into one list, known as the ‘high needs index’. The output is a list of languages that allows SBS to focus on those communities that are most in need.

 

4. What was the process for a language community to be considered under the ‘special clause’ in the Selection Criteria?

The third criterion, the special clause, provides that:

  • SBS may also include a sizeable ethnic community if its needs are significant but not adequately captured in the Large Language or High Needs Selection Criteria. Factors which SBS may take into account include:
    • Discrimination/Vilification: where a group is subject to frequent discrimination or vilification in Australia based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
    • Immediate need: a significant increase in the population of a language group through Australia’s Humanitarian Program.

Communities who believed they would not meet the ‘large language’ or ‘high needs’ Selection Criteria, could make a submission to SBS if they could demonstrate their language community suffered ongoing persecution or vilification in Australia or has had a significant increase in their language population through Australia’s Humanitarian Program. The Managing Director’s decision on all submissions is final.

 

5. Are there new languages in the new radio schedule?

The revised services include seven new languages, including six ‘high needs’ languages and one ‘large’ language (as per the final Selection Criteria), supporting new communities who need news and information in their language as they navigate life in a new country. The new languages are: Telugu, Karen, Tibetan, Hakha Chin, Rohingya, Mongolian and Kirundi (Rundi). All content in the new languages will be available digitally via on demand audio podcasts accessible via the SBS website and SBS Radio app.

 

6. Why are the new language services on digital platforms only?

The Census 2016 indicates that in each of the languages being added, more than 50% of those language speakers are aged 20-54 and even younger, and we believe on demand content will be the most effective way to reach and engage with them. The content will be available anytime, anywhere and on a device of their choice. The new languages of Telugu, Karen, Hakha Chin, Tibetan, Rohingya, Mongolian and Kirundi (Rundi) will be served digitally, via on demand audio podcasts accessible via the SBS website and SBS Radio app.

 

7. Are any languages being discontinued?

12 languages have been discontinued as they do not meet the Selection Criteria. Five of these languages have been in recess for between 12-18 months, including Lithuanian, Malay, Latvian, Danish and Maori. The other languages are Kannada, Tongan, Norwegian, Cook Island Maori, Fijian, Swedish and the African program (in English).

 

8. Are there alternatives available for the discontinued languages?

Please visit the following language websites to learn more about other currently available alternate services:

Sbs.com.au/Lithuanian

Sbs.com.au/Malay

Sbs.com.au/Latvian

Sbs.com.au/Danish

Sbs.com.au/Maori

Sbs.com.au/Kannada

Sbs.com.au/Tongan

Sbs.com.au/Norwegian

Sbs.com.au/CookIslandsMaori

Sbs.com.au/Fijian

Sbs.com.au/Swedish

SBS Radio broadcasts in the following African languages:

Sbs.com.au/Amharic

Sbs.com.au/Tigrinya

Sbs.com.au/Dinka

Sbs.com.au/Somali

Sbs.com.au/Swahili

Sbs.com.au/Kirundi (launching soon)

 

9. Which languages will lose broadcast hours?

Given their size relative to other communities, the Turkish and Croatian languages have each reduced one program (from five to four hours per week); while German has reduced two programs (from seven to five hours per week). Taking into account the demographic profile of each community, Hungarian, Bosnian and Albanian have also reduced to one program per week (from two to one hour per week).

 

10. How many languages will SBS Radio service after the changes?

SBS Radio will remain the world’s most linguistically diverse public broadcaster, producing content in 68 languages.

 

11. When will the updated services be implemented?

The new SBS Radio services commenced from Monday 20 November. For the new languages, it will be dependent on recruitment for journalists who speak the languages.

 

12. How can I express my interest for suitable opportunities with SBS Radio?

To support these changes we will be seeking Expressions of Interest for Executive Producers and Casual Producers in various language groups. To submit your resume, please visit http://careers.sbs.com.au/

For the most up to date opportunities please also follow SBS on LinkedIn.  In the meantime, if you have any queries, please email careers@sbs.com.au

 

13. Can I comment on the results of the SBS Radio Services Review?

If you have any questions about the outcome of the SBS Radio Services Review, please email radioservicesreview@sbs.com.au.