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Platforms Featured ANZ

SBS launches new free-to-air multilingual news channel, SBS WorldWatch

Australia – SBS, Australia’s broadcast company, has today launched SBS WorldWatch, an all-new free-to-air multilingual news channel. The dedicated 24-hour channel features news bulletins from leading international broadcasters in more than 35 languages and is home to SBS’s Arabic and Mandarin television news bulletins – SBS عربي News and SBS 中文 News. The launch of the channel builds on SBS’ expanding range of multilingual services for audiences across TV, radio and digital platforms. 

James Taylor, managing director of SBS, said, “Our multilingual strategy sits at the heart of SBS and we are very excited to extend our offering with the launch of the SBS WorldWatch channel today, which sees us further expand our in-language news bulletins for people whose preferred language may not be English.”

“From today our Mandarin and Arabic news programs, which we soft launched on SBS OnDemand earlier this year, will have a prime-time home on the SBS WorldWatch channel -a very real demonstration of how we are delivering on our Charter in providing both local and international news to these communities,” added Taylor. 

SBS WorldWatch broadcasts international news services from 30 countries – bringing Australians different perspectives from around the globe, and enabling culturally and linguistically diverse communities to catch up on world news in their preferred language. 

Produced by two dedicated teams of bilingual journalists and broadcast in prime time, SBS’ new locally produced half hour Arabic and Mandarin television news bulletins – SBS عربي News and SBS 中文 News – provide impartial coverage, insightful context and balancedanalysis of the major national and international stories, in language, every weeknight. 

SBS Director of News and Current Affairs, Mandi Wicks, said the launch of SBS WorldWatch is a further demonstration of SBS’ commitment to meeting the needs of a culturally and linguistically diverse Australia. 

“SBS is uniquely placed to reach and engage the many Australians who speak a language other than English, and we are thrilled to be evolving and enhancing our offering with the launch of SBS WorldWatch. It is exciting to be increasing our commitment to more SBS-produced multilingual news through the Arabic and Mandarin bulletins, ensuring access to relevant and current news for two of Australia’s largest and fastest growing language communities,” said Wicks. 

SBS WorldWatch expands SBS’s commitment to providing comprehensive news and information across its network – in English through SBS World News, and in more than 60 languages across SBS Radio services, podcasting, and digital platforms – and the multilingual services the network has been delivering to Australians for more than 45 years. 

SBS WorldWatch is available on free-to-air television (channel 35) and on SBS On Demand from today. 

SBS WorldWatch is the network’s sixth free-to-air channel joining SBS, National Indigenous Television (NITV), SBS VICELAND, SBS Food and SBS World Movies. 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ABS-CBN’s news channel cancels partnership with Chinatown News TV after netizen backlash

Manila, Philippines – ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), the news channel arm of PH media conglomerate ABS-CBN, has announced that it is canceling its partnership with Chinatown News TV, a Filipino-owned media news channel broadcast in Chinese and made by the Filipino-Chinese community in the country. This was shortly after the parties announced the tie-up.

The cancellation comes after the network received backlash from the online community, pointing to the irony of establishing a Chinese broadcast in the news channel despite growing tensions between the Philippines and China regarding vessels of the latter that are currently lingering and taking space in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

ABS-CBN has recently covered the West Philippine Sea issue with one of its journalists, Chiara Zambrano, visiting the highly-contested area along with the ABS-CBN team before being chased down by the Chinese Coast Guard.

Ging Reyes, news chief at ABS-CBN, initially defended the partnership, stating that ABS-CBN had editorial control over their content, providing national news stories and ensuring accuracy of the translation from Mandarin to English subtitles.

“ABS-CBN News has vigorously covered these issues, in our pursuit of truth and public enlightenment. But we resist discrimination against any race. or ethnicity. The airing on ANC of Chinatown News should not be equated with the intrusions in the West PH Sea. Chinatown News is produced by fellow Filipinos who belong to the Filipino-Chinese community. They are part of Philippine society,” Reyes said in her Twitter thread.

Despite the defense, many netizens have opposed the partnership.

The Philippine arm of online democratic solidarity movement Milk Tea Alliance stated that Chinatown News TV is also responsible for the controversial music video ‘Iisang Dagat’ (‘One Sea’) co-produced with the Chinese Embassy to the Philippines, as well as spreading media lies about the persecution of Uyghur Muslim minorities in Mainland China.

TV writer and producer Erwin Aurella tweeted that a ‘Chinese propaganda’ video disguised as a ‘Chinese news program’ doesn’t speak to ABS-CBN’s motto of ‘In The Service of the Filipino People’.

In line with the partnership, netizens took to Twitter and mocked the station using the hashtag #ABSCBNTutaNgChina, alluding to the network being a ‘puppy’ of Chinese propaganda.

Controversially, Chinatown News TV also aimed to promote the ‘One Belt, One Road’, a global infrastructure development strategy by the Chinese Communist Party, the sole governing party of the People’s Republic of China.