Journalist and former SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin has revealed she left the broadcaster in 2018 after a 30 year career over management’s “mistreatment of staff”.
As she told the The Guardian, she did not personally suffer racism at SBS, however she believed there were systemic workplace problems at the broadcaster, such as a lack of diversity in senior management.
Her public statement against SBS follows allegations from ex-SBS journalists earlier this month who accused the broadcaster of racism and bullying, while pleading with the board to appoint a non-white male news director.
The Guardian also obtained a letter Chin wrote to then SBS chairman Hass Dellal in 2018 where she blamed the “lack of consideration and common human respect” for SBS staff which forced her to quit before he contract was up.
She wrote to Dellal: “My reasons for arriving at this difficult decision is the general unhappiness at the style of management of the network, the culture resulting from it, the mistreatment of staff in the lack of consideration and common human respect, as well as the direction SBS is moving.”
An SBS spokesperson said the chairman asked to meet Chin twice following her email, but she did not respond.
“In relation to the correspondence – SBS Chairman Dr Hass Dellal AO twice invited Lee Lin to meet with him to discuss her email, including over the phone if preferred. Lee Lin did not respond to those invitations. As such there were no specific allegations which could be investigated.”
Chin told The Guardian the issues that caused her to resign in 2018 were still a problem at the broadcaster.
“It is deeply dispiriting that the misrule at the network continues to thrive unchecked, unexamined,” Chin said.
“Only the glare of exposure would put an end to this unhappy state of affairs. One hopes.”
Chin said she was publically coming forward and revealing why she left SBS to support current and former staff who complained of racism, bullying and a lack of diversity at the broadcaster.
An SBS spokesperson said the diversity and inclusion initiatives announced two weeks ago are currently in the process of being implemented across the broadcaster.
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