Trouble in SBS-land

Dateline's Sophie McNeill won a Walkley for Young Australian Journalist of the Year in 2008. Above: McNeill with Asher Moses, Michael Atkin and Andrew Quilty. Source: Walkley Foundation.

Life is getting bleaker for the staff of Australian public broadcaster SBS, according to a confidential poll of staff.

As New Matilda’s David Ingram reports, the confidential survey reveals widespread staff dissatisfaction:

The survey measuring employee engagement found fewer than half the 614 staff polled thought SBS performed well in managing performance, promotion, innovation and communication. In some work areas, satisfaction was less than a quarter on individual issues.

As Ien Ang, Gay Hawkins and Lamia Daboussy noted in their 2009 book on the broadcaster, The SBS Story, the network’s mandate for multicultural and foreign language programming has also spurred diversity in programming and quality journalism through shows such as Dateline. But since current boss Shaun Brown was recruited to the broadcaster from a commercial TV background in New Zealand in 2003, there have been many who believe the network has lost its way.