The ABC has defensively backed down from describing Australia Day as 'Invasion Day' following a complaint from the communications minister.
The national broadcaster published an online events guide on Sunday interchangeably using a politically contentious term to describe the January 26 public holiday commemorating the British First Fleet's 1788 arrival in Sydney Cove.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher spoke out against this ABC article.
'The ABC online article is incorrect about Australia Day,' he said on Monday.
'The ABC has clearly got this one wrong.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The federal communications minister has slammed the ABC for referring to Australia Day as 'Invasion Day'. The national broadcaster published an events guide on Sunday interchangeably using a contentious term to describe the January 26 public holiday commemorating the First Fleet's 1788 arrival in Sydney Cove. Pictured is a 2019 Invasion Day protest in Brisbane
'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.'
Hours later, the ABC issued a defensive statement arguing the policy was to refer to Australia Day.
'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,' it said on Monday afternoon.
'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.'
The ABC events guide on Sunday had described Australia Day as 'a contentious day for many'.
The initial article, which has now been slightly amended, was titled 'Australia Day/Invasion Day 2021 events for Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin'.
The national public holiday was described as 'one of the most polarising dates on the Australian calendar' because it marked 'a day of sorrow for the colonisation of an ancient culture'.
'For some First Nations people, it is a day to mourn the past and galvanise the community to address ongoing systemic racial injustice,' the ABC public holiday guide said.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has spoken out against this ABC article. 'The ABC online article is incorrect about Australia Day,' he said on Monday.
'For others, it's a chance to spend time with family and friends at the beach or around barbecues.'
The ABC had earlier defended the decision to use the terms interchangeably as it would be 'inappropriate' to demand its staff to refer to one or the other.
Jacinta Price, the indigenous Deputy Mayor of Alice Springs in central Australia, has campaigned to keep the date as is,