The SBS Codes of Practice set out the principles and policies SBS uses to guide its programming. A complaint alleging SBS has breached its Codes of Practice is investigated as a Codes Complaint and managed independently by the SBS Ombudsman.
Codes Complaints cover all SBS content on any platform: television, radio or online. A complaint can only be made after content has been broadcast or uploaded and must be received within six weeks of the original publication or broadcast.
Complaints concerning the SBS Codes of Practice may include, but are not limited to, allegations of prejudice and discrimination, classification of content, balance and accuracy of news and current affairs content.
Complainants must be Australian residents. If a complainant is not an Australian resident but is identified in the content which is the subject of complaint, they may also make a Code complaint.
For a complaint to be investigated, the complainant is required to:
- Identify themselves (provide name, address, email address).
- Identify the content (channel, program, website address, date viewed/heard/read).
- Outline the nature of the complaint (including, if possible, the relevant code from the SBS Codes of Practice).
A written response is provided to complainants (as detailed in Code 9 of SBS Codes of Practice).
The Office of the SBS Ombudsman will endeavour to respond to your complaint within 30 days of receipt, but in any event must do so within 60 days. If SBS has not responded within 60 days, or you consider the response to your complaint inadequate, you can raise the matter with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Any finding of the SBS Ombudsman in relation to radio and television content can be reviewed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Online content is not included within the jurisdiction of the ACMA for the purposes of section 150 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. This section covers SBS content investigations.