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Australia – (E4) Minority / Alternative media

Score in short:

Australia offers an abundance of broadcast and print media in languages other than English.

Score in detail:

Australia’s second public broadcaster, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), is considered unique in that its radio and television services are broadcast in more languages than on any other network in the world. The television program on its first channel in languages other than english – which comprise more than half the SBS Television schedule – are accessible to all viewers through SBS-produced english language subtitles. Its charter is “to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society” (SBS 2010).

SBS television broadcasts in 23 languages, including news programs, and SBS radio broadcasts in 68 languages, including news programs. one of SBS’s digital channels is almost entirely devoted to news programs taken from stations around the world.

Australia’s multiculturalism is equally reflected in the print sector. In New South Wales, papers in 30 different languages are available, which includes seven different papers in Arabic, five different Chinese publications, four Korean and Turkish and three Afghan/Iranian papers. The other states do not offer quite the same spread. Victoria offers papers in 17 different languages, with six different papers in Chinese, and four each in Greek and Indian languages. Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia only have four, three and two papers, respectively, in languages other than english. The frequency of publication varies from bi-weekly to weekly, which is the most common form, to fortnightly, and in some cases, monthly (ethnic Media organisations 2010).