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Ethnic broadcasters rights at stake

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) is determined to introduce qualitative criteria to the funds distribution for ethnic broadcasting media.The CBF is attempting to create two different kinds of grants for ‘content’ and ‘development’ respectively, a move that has resulted in confusion, frustration and outrage. Up until now, funding is distributed on an ‘hourly rate’ method, according to the number of eligible programming hours and the size of the funding pool. Moreover, a suggestion has been made to change the way ethnic broadcasters elect their representatives to the CBF and the committees that administer funding. The National Conference of Ethnic Broadcasters, which was held in Melbourne from 27 to 29 November, shunned the proposals.Just as adamant was the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), expressing concerns about the rights of ethnic communities broadcasters jeopardised by the Community Broadcasting Foundation.GOCMV, which has played a leading role in ensuring access to the media by ethnic minority Australians, unanimously rejected the proposal during its annual meeting (AGM) held on 13 December 2015. The AGM called upon the federal government to fund ethnic broadcasting directly through the democratically-elected National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) – as it does for indigenous broadcasting.Mr Bill Papastergiadis, president of the Greek Community, emphasised the importance of the ethnic media in general and community media in particular in serving their communities and playing an irreplaceable role with respect to language and culture maintenance. The meeting also called upon SBS, in light of the federal government’s decision not to extend the Free to Air licences to community television broadcasters beyond the end of 2016, that one of SBS’s four channels be dedicated after 2016 to broadcasting programs produced by ethnic minorities and other community volunteers.A letter to the Minister for Communications, the Hon. Mitch Fifield, was also sent, outlining the organisation’s concern in regard to the recent developments in the area of ethnic broadcasting.last_img read more