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DR BARRY M DALE
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As someone who has watched a quality broadcaster deteriorate to the level of yet another commercial television broadcaster I wish the government to legislate to prohibit SBS from interrupting programs for commercial breaks.
Since SBS started advertising and the interrupting into programs for advertisement breaks it has changed SBS from a very special broadcaster of the past, into a defacto commercial channel.
There are fewer programs in languages other than English, than previously was the case.
Under the current management and Board, SBS has demonstrated a loss of respect for its viewers through these annoying commercial interruptions .
This is at odds with how a good public broadcaster should be.
If SBS is to make the transition into the digital age, a strong government policy is requiredThe governhment in the pre-election period expressed opposition to SBS interrupting programs for ad breaks.
This should be backed up with strong supportive legislation to stop the nations preminent multicultural public broadcaster from that practice.
This legislation should occur as part of the 2009 Budget package, where upon SBS ought to be funded more adequately for the above to occur.
SBS deserves to be supported financially to a very much greater extent by government that previously was the case.
The SBS Charter should stay, unaltered, as it currently is.
Unlike its television counterpart, SBS radio with its various community language programs, has remained more faithful to the SBS Charter.
Funding also needs to be made available to develop a digital broadcast band service, for a free to air digital SBS radio network.
SBS should and must in every sense remain separate and independent of the ABC at all levels. The sharing of some resources would over time, ultimately lead to the larger broadcaster, gradually consuming the smaller one.
If SBS is to move smoothly into the digital age, it needs adequate government funding for two television channels with two or more radio networks and a development of a digital broadcast band service, a multilingual website and specific broadcaster-web Code of Practice.
A strong government policy that opposes the interruption of programs for commercial breaks, backed by supporting legislation that prohibits such practice is urgently overdue to facilitate the 'special' intended purpose of SBS as a multicultural broadcaster.
Barry M Dale