SBS, still on the hunt for funding after the failure of a bill that would have allowed it to air more ads in prime time earlier this year, has been “engaging” with ministers and government departments on how it can play a role in Australia’s efforts to combat the radicalisation of Muslim youth. It is still talking to the government about “what government programs may provide a funding source” for the promotion of “social cohesion”, CEO and managing director Michael Ebeid says.

The revelation was first made at Senate estimates late last month. It was reported at the time that SBS had been rebuffed in its advances. “I’m forever hopeful,” Ebeid said then. “Some of these initiatives might now have more resonance and be more accepted.”

But in a letter to senators put on the Senate website last week, Ebeid said he might have given the wrong impression at that Senate estimates hearing. “Whilst we have had, and are currently having, discussions on possible opportunities for SBS to do more to support social cohesion as a way to counter radicalisation, it is incorrect to state that we have made formal submissions for funding that have been rejected”.

Peter Fray

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