Whether it’s the provocative documentaries, insightful news, or the fact they have more languages than the Vatican – Australians love their SBS and for their own unique reasons. Given such affection for the special broadcaster, it’s no surprise so many Australians were up in arms when a Bill to double the amount of ads per hour made it to parliament.
As well as concern for the disrupted viewing experience, fears justifiably focused on the risk commercialisation could bring to the iconic broadcaster’s core values. Management’s devotion to focus on content that can lead to a more inclusive and cohesive society would be under threat.
SBS shows like First Contact, spark internal questioning, public controversy and ultimately start conversations. Conversations that lead to action and, importantly, change.
First Contact may not have made the cut under a more commercial paradigm.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to a push for commercial increase, saw a ground swell of backlash and a stellar campaign launched by former SBS World News Australia presenter, Mary Kostakidis and the crew at Save Our SBS.
The campaign was named ‘Preserve our media diversity: Don’t turn SBS into Australia’s fourth commercial TV network’. Powered by the DoGooder online toolkit, it asked Australians to email both their MP and Senators to stop the bill and voice their opinion.
In one month over 10,000 people voiced their opposition! And in response, only a couple of weeks into the campaign…
Drum roll…The government killed the Bill!
The Prime Minister issued this statement: ‘Following community feedback and discussions with industry stakeholders, the Government has decided not to proceed with the legislation. This legislation will now be withdrawn from Parliament.’
Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, “Due to public pressure, not only did the Government take that decision, it restored to SBS the funding cut that was to be replaced by increased advertising. We’re very pleased.”
This is a huge victory for SBS viewers.
Ms Kostakidis stated, “If the government Bill had become law, not only would advertising have become even more intrusive, it would have driven future programming decisions. SBS would have been manoeuvred further away from its Charter obligations.”
Here at Do Gooder we’re thrilled to have helped protect this important Australian institution and are armed and ready to support more!
Do you want to stop a new law or make a change to existing practices? Are you a campaigner or local advocate? Do you want to make a difference?
Steve Aujard discusses his experience using the Do Gooder platform. He says: “The really good part about the Do Gooder set up is the way they have simplified and automated so many functions. For example, the tool to find your local Member of Parliament and Senators based on postcode, the way their system inserts the sender’s name below the body of the email text, and so many other features, the ‘thank you’ emails and interface with social media.”
“It is all very intuitive to the user. Aside from an array of options, the Do Gooder technical support was very fast when needed. It is a well thought through system they have built. Without a doubt, I very highly recommend Do Gooder”, continued Mr Aujard.
To check out the SBS crusade and the campaign muscle Do Gooder can offer you, go to good.do to re-invigorate or create your own movement.
Once again, a big cheer to SBS staying true!