ABC amends online article after criticism from Paul Fletcher

The ABC has amended an online article after Communications Minister Paul Fletcher criticised a headline.

The article listed both celebratory and protest events being held on January 26.

The headline “Australia Day / Invasion Day 2021 events for Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin” was amended to “Australia Day is a contentious day for many. Here are the events being held on January 26”.

Paul Fletcher said in a statement the ABC ‘got this one wrong.’

“The name of our national day is well understood and supported, and for the ABC to suggest otherwise — that in some way Invasion Day is interchangeable with Australia Day — is clearly wrong,” he said.

“The name of Australia Day is reflected in legislation across Australia. More important, it is reflected in the usage of the overwhelming majority of Australians.

“While the ABC has editorial independence, and I do not control what it says, I call on the ABC to correct this inaccurate article.”

In a lengthy statement ABC said the default terminology for the ABC remains “Australia Day”.

“We also recognise and respect that community members use other terms for the event, including ’26 January’, ‘Invasion Day’ and ‘Survival Day’, so our reporting and coverage reflect that,” it said in a statement.

“In light of some misreporting on this issue, to be abundantly clear: The ABC’s policy is to use the term Australia Day, as it always has. As the editorial advice states, other terms can be used when they are appropriate in certain contexts. This does not mean they are used interchangeably.”


  1. Nine News yesterday spruiked a lot about Invasion Day in its promos and its bulletins, but I notice Fletcher doesn’t seem to be taking them to task.

  2. carolemorrissey

    There they go again. So much for not interfering. It’s all they ever do. Why do the ABC always back down when a Govt Minister bullies them when they don’t agree with something. They need to grow a spine & hold their ground.

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