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Under great pressure, a diamond is being formed: The SBS over time

School of Journalism and Communications, University of Queensland
Publication Date
  • 200104 Media Studies
  • Special Broadcasting Service
  • Australian Media
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Computer Science
  • Political Science


This article observes a paradox in the recent history of the Special Broadcasting Service. It is argued that, in contrast to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the role and general direction of SBS were not extensively debated as part of the ‘culture wars’ that occurred during the years of the Howard government. While that made SBS a less fraught space during that period, it may now be a factor in the comparative lack of support being given by the Rudd Labor government to SBS in comparison with the ABC, as some of the ‘special’ status of SBS has been blunted by its drift towards more mainstream programming and a mixed economy of commercial advertising, as well as government funding.

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