Should ABC Radio take sides?

triple j survey results


Last week Peter Saxon asked readers whether it was appropriate for the the tax-payer funded ABC to take sides on political issues.

The question arose from the controversy surrounding triple j canvassing the idea of moving its iconic Hottest 100 to a day other than Australia Day.

Hundreds of you participated in the short survey, keen to weigh in on the topic. Here are the results.

Q 1: As the tax-payer funded broadcaster, should ABC Radio advocate a position on political matters such as moving Australia Day to another date?

27% said YES  69% said NO and 4% left a comment in “Other”

Here is a selection of Reader Comments from the “other” section.

ABC did not advocate in favor of any thing, they just started the debate which I think was long over due and ABC was not biased in any way I think

It’s a new and relevant debate, the ABC needs to have a role in helping Australians be across that debate, particularly in the charged and politicised environement that is growing in Australia. Leadership in the form of sense and balance is needed and that’s a good role for the ABC – and, sigh, why not all media.

Like the U.S.A. media, they should “Shut up” and get their “facts” from the nearest right wing political demagogue. Which would be Tony Abbott, who knee-capped the ABC’s funding last time they were considered to have stepped out of line. Yeah, that’ll do it!

Q 2: Please check the statement that’s closest to your point of view

34% chose (a) Moving triple j’s Hottest 100 to another date is a programming decision, not a political one. Who cares when it airs?

49% chose (b) The Hottest 100 has always been associated with Australia Day and should only move to another date if Australia Day moves.

17% left a comment.

Here is a selection of Readers’ Comments.

The Hottest 100 should be on Australia Day, but the date should be changed. Unless the federal government are prepared to give it a dedicated “Hottest 100 Day’ public holiday

Australia Day should not move, and as such any move of the Hottest 100 would be counter-productive to JJJ’s best interests.

neither dates for the countdown or Australia day should change. Maintain

You make it sound as though broadcasting the (yawn) Lukewarm 100 on Oz Day was part of the constitution. Of course it’s a programming decision. Instead, why not question it’s actual cultural relevance. I mean, who else gives Flume any credible airtime? Huh? Big Whoop.

Biased possible answers much? both offer the option of moving the hottest 100 which has been relative to australia day, but no option relative to keeping it where it is.

The notion that the Hottest 100 has always been linked to Australia Day is a myth. … It’s only in recent history that the H100 has been directly linked to Australia Day, largely due to the demise of the Big Day Out.

I believe it should stay on Australia Day but I feel Australia Day should move to another date that makes everyone feel included.

Any one who want this to make it political they will. Having the countdown on a public holiday is a a good choice.

Aussie day on the 26 with the 100 countdown or nothin!

Triple J can move its hottest 100 if it feels this is not the best date: it should be able to make these decisions although preferably after consultation with its listeners/community though first. In my view, and as an historical part of its DNA, a public broadcaster should not follow but lead – and if a decision like this is there, it should feel it can decide to change a date for an ‘institution’ like the Hottest 100. Personally I feel it should have done this years ago but to do it now is totally within its discretionary ability and one might argue a valid response to current circumstances. Triple J was born after all from Double J; and this station was far more political and challenging of the status quo. This is in part what made it so exciting. Triple J needs to refind some of this more challenging spirit, even if I don’t agree that directly advocating for Australia Day to be changed is part of its remit.

Moving triple j’s hottest 100 to another date is a programming decision, not a political one. Who cares when it airs as long as it is timely and in January to reflect the previous year. Pick any weekend there are usually 4 you could even air it on Boxing Day really!!!

triple j’s hottest 100 is non-political and if now Australia Day has become a political hot potato then the Hottest 100 could find a more inclusive date

On a day when the greatest rip-off in history occurred in 1788, it’s fitting that the well funded and dominant national “yoof” broadcaster commemorates the day of the rip-off by running an event ripped off from 4ZZZ. It’s a total snorefest, allowing multiple entries from the same artist to feature and reflecting the taste of a man in his sixth decade who is, alarmingly, directing the music taste of a generation of younger people. Scrap it and Australia Day. #changethedate

It should remain part of Australia Day, and only on January 26