SBS describes their network as a “national broadcaster of multicultural and multilingual programming…” and the entire network was initially built, and still for the most part operates, around providing news in the native languages of many minority communities.
When I think about the SBS I think about their radio channels and TV station, or even SBS on demand but I, at least personally, hardly consider SBS to be a major online media producer. The major problem with online content is that there is so much of it since anybody can post anything they want at anytime so most online content producers advertise and promote in such a way that their content finds the reader, not the other way around. In a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the future of of public interest journalism (link to PDF download) made by SBS in July on page 7 there is a solid page allocated to online publishing of content and the use of social media in order to help promote their content to a wider audience but also states that since their major audiences are from a number of different cultures and are highly dispersed it becomes hard to utilise the targeted advertising that social media offers since it is at times difficult to identify who they should be advertising to.
Even with the SBS’s online presence using things like social media to promote their content I still feel as if they struggle when it comes to promoting some of the exciting and interesting projects that they produce on the internet. Of course you would expect to see most of the organisations resources being used to promote and generate interest around the major stories or news articles on their websites since it is what the majority of people are there to read and it also gives them the opportunity to bring in more advertisement revenue which, of the $379 million made in the 2016-2017 financial year accounted for $97.4 million (Corporate Plan 2016-17).
SBS, in my opinion, is responsible for some of the best made, and most interesting, multimedia and digital media projects that can be found on the internet. Things like dressing up a documentary on the Cronulla Riots, a special story on “The Other 9/11” or even adapting a previously made story like The Boat.
After 6/4 is one of these projects that shows a timeline of news headlines from both Western and Chinese news sources that were released after the events following Hu Yaobang’s death in 1989. SBS has a segment in their 2014 Code of Practice (Revised in March 2016) that states the writers of any story should stay, for the most part, impartial, to the events being discussed and to take all viewpoints into account regardless of if they are the main focus of the article. This article stays true to this concept by providing readers (consumers) with both sides of the coin of how the events that unfolded after June 4th, 1989 (Refer picture below).
The interactive article provides a full timeline of events with both a major Western and Chinese news source covering the same events and includes any relevant photos or video released with or in relation to the reports.
In my opinion SBS makes great content, albeit the majority of is not relevant or interesting to me, and I can see the amount of time and effort that goes into putting together different projects, especially the multimedia ones online based on the fact that I am doing similar things at university. Before starting research into this I believed that the SBS put little value on online advertising, which I have since learnt is not the case. Even with that being said though I still feel as if many of these smaller projects, which aren’t part of some bigger picture are ignored completely and lost within the archives of SBS which is really sad considering how interesting and well made this content is. At the end of the day though this is just my opinion on the subject based on the small amount of information I learnt but one thing I can say for certain is that at the end of this I have more questions about how the SBS’s advertising and promotion systems work then when I started.