Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan has welcomed national broadcaster SBS’s announcement of a new free-to-air multilingual news channel which will launch in early 2022.
The channel will provide news in 30 languages and also feature two new SBS news programs in Arabic and Mandarin.
Commissioner Tan applauded the announcement which will see communities across Australia getting access to trusted commentary and insight into major international and domestic news stories.
“Australia prides itself on being a diverse country, where equality and opportunity are afforded to all. If we are to live up to these values, all communities should have news and current affairs that is accessible to them,” Commissioner Tan said.
“For a long time, the Commission has advocated for multi-language media, a vital tool for increasing the participation of diverse communities in public life.
“This was a key finding of our Sharing the Stories of Australian Muslims report, alongside greater representation in all areas of the media.”
“I’m so pleased to see one of our national broadcasters respond to this critical need and am sure it will have a positive impact in multicultural communities.”
The Commission has previously identified the need for greater cultural diversity and representation in the media in its 2018 Leading for Change report and reinforced its importance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s important to remember that all of us are enriched by diversity,” Commissioner Tan said.
“This new channel is an important step to increasing media diversity but should be in addition to concerted efforts to increase diversity at other mainstream media organisations across print, TV and radio in the country.”
The Commission will be continuing its work to progress a National Anti-Racism Framework into 2022. A public submissions process is currently open on the Commission’s website and the Commission will release a Consultation Report about the Framework.