THE board of the ABC will be asked to reconsider Triple J’s decision to move the date of the Hottest 100 away from Australia Day.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told ABC this morning that the decision was political and was being seen as an attempt to “delegitimise” Australia Day.
“I’ll be asking the board of the ABC, who have the ultimate programming and editorial responsibility, to reconsider this,” he said.
“The ABC have legislated independence when it comes to programming decisions but as Minister I’m making clear to the ABC my view that they shouldn’t mess with Australia Day and they shouldn’t mess with the Hottest 100.
“I know that is the view of many of my parliamentary colleagues and it’s also a widely held view in the community that the ABC just shouldn’t be making political statements.”
Triple J has held its music countdown on Australia Day since 1998 although it’s not always been held on January 26.
It announced yesterday that it has decided to schedule the Hottest 100 for the fourth weekend of January, which falls on January 27 next year.
The decision comes after Triple J polled its listeners and found 60 per cent of them supported changing the date of the countdown.
In recent years there has been controversy over the celebration of Australia Day, which marks the arrival of the First Fleet and is often referred to as “Invasion Day” by Indigenous Australians.
In justifying its decision, Triple J acknowledged the day had become problematic and the countdown was being drawn into debate about whether Australia Day should be changed.
“We all agreed that the Hottest 100 shouldn’t be part of a debate about the day it’s on,” a statement said. “The only debate should be about the songs.”
The move has drawn a mixed response online with many applauding Triple J for the move, while others say they will switch off.
But the government interference is also drawing criticism with some wondering why politicians are getting involved.
Why is the government getting involved in this? How about they stick to their already massive list of unadressed issues.— Jay Michael (@brizzombie) November 27, 2017
I assume Mitch Fifield is also a member of the Triple M music jury. Can't wait to hear his opinions on the new Foo Fighters— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) November 27, 2017
I remember similar LNP outrage when we @triplej decided to change the #Hottest100 from best song of all time to songs released that year. Great to see them so passionately moved by issues concerning youth music— Adam Spencer (@adambspencer) November 27, 2017
60,000 Triple J listeners were polled about changing the date of their Hottest 100 and the vast majority voted to change it, so Triple J did. It's NOT Mitch Fifield;s decision to make ... ! https://t.co/UjnorYxIdm— Ed Hunter (@EdwardJWHunter) November 27, 2017
Others welcomed the move, pointing out Triple J’s decision was a political one.
“Could it be because this is a government funded station? Seriously, if you a private enterprise do what you want but we are paying for these idiots to pander to a small minority that goes against us the majority and the governments expectations. You don’t get to make pathetic political statements with our money,” one man said on Facebook.
Another said: “That is why GOV should not fund ABC any more. ABC is political organization. It is so busy to express its political opitions. It should only report FACTS.”
Great! It’s “Australia Day” not “ABC - JJJ Political Statement Day”. Do they not understand that the taxpayers pay for them and most taxpayers want them to leave Australia Day alone. They’re just promoting divisiveness— CSG (@carmelosg1) November 27, 2017
Privatise the ABC, that will stop this lefty nonsense.— ...Read more