ORIGINAL STORY: Triple j has announced that it will not be changing the date of the Hottest 100, at least for the time being.
The station has responded to a growing campaign to move the date of its Hottest 100 countdown so that it no longer takes place on Australia Day, confirming that it is considering a change, but not right now.
In a statement, the station said that at least for 2017 the countdown would remain on January 26th, although it will “continue to talk to Indigenous communities, artists and our audience about the date for the Hottest 100 in future years,” before adding “In short: it’s under review.”
“Triple j’s Hottest 100 is a countdown of your favourite songs of the past year on a public holiday in January. It’s intended as a celebration of the year’s best music that everybody can enjoy,” say triple j.
“We want the Hottest 100 to be an inclusive and respectful event for all Australians, including all the incredible Indigenous artists making great Australian music, and the listeners from all cultural backgrounds who love it.”
The statement was followed by an announcement that the station will once again partner up with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) for the 2016 Hottest 100, with the station and listeners having raised over $100,000 for the mentoring program in 2015.
Triple j’s response comes after a Change.org petition was launched to change the Hottest 100 date over a month ago. It says that Australia Day for Indigenous Australians is, “A date commemorating the invasion of their countries and colonization of their ways of life, rather than a celebration of what it now means to be ‘Australian’.”
Supporters were been urged to contact triple j everyday until they get a response, and it looks like it’s worked. According to the petition leader Brendan Busch, more than 2,000 complaints have been lodged with the ABC.
Hottest 100 expert and prediction master Patrick Avenell, who presented on triple j for eight weeks last summer, reckons the change the date campaign is causing a divide within triple j.
Avenell, who correctly predicted a respectable six of the songs in last year’s Hottest 100 top 10, tells Music Feeds that there’s tension between “the older heads who favour the traditional approach to the station” and “the younger guys who are more focused on the stunt-style radio that generates listenership spikes”.
“There is also the risk that changing the date will upset the right-wing commentariat, already gnashing their teeth at the ABC and Triple J, which could influence [ABC CEO] Michelle Guthrie to step in and insist the date isn’t changed, lest it appear that the ABC is cowering to culture/history war politics,” Avenell says.
“In the current climate, the issue is more vexed than simply choosing a new date for the countdown.”
There’s still a long road ahead, but this is the first time triple j has publicly acknowledged the conversation surrounding the possible Hottest 100 date change.
Read the broadcaster’s full statement, below.
Gallery: 15 Things The 2015 Triple J Hottest 100 Taught Us About Ourselves
Triple J Will Not Be Changing The Date For The Hottest 100 - Music Feeds
Statement From Triple J On Hottest 100 Date Debate
Q: Are we changing the date of triple j’s Hottest 100?
Short answer: For now… No. In 2017, the Hottest 100 will be on January 26.
triple j’s Hottest 100 is a countdown of your favourite songs of the past year on a public holiday in January. It’s intended as a celebration of the year’s best music that everybody can enjoy.
We’ve been aware of, and have been a part of, the discussions around 26 January for some time. triple j is heavily involved in the growing dialogue around Indigenous recognition and perspectives on 26 January. This is really important to us.
We will continue to talk to Indigenous communities, artists and our audience about the date for the Hottest 100 in future years. In short: it’s under review.
We want the Hottest 100 to be an inclusive and respectful event for all Australians, including all the incredible Indigenous artists making great Australian music, and the listeners from all cultural backgrounds who love it.
As part of this commitment, we’re proud to announce that we’re once again teaming up with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) for the 2016 Hottest 100.
Every year, millions of Australians get involved in the Hottest 100 at home and overseas. By working with AIME, we want to use this wide-reaching platform to create a meaningful connection between all communities, including Indigenous Australians.
In 2015, triple j’s listeners raised over $100,000 for AIME, a mentoring program supporting Indigenous kids through high school and into university, training and employment with a completion rate the same as the average Australian child – aiming to close the gap in educational outcomes.
The Hottest 100 is the biggest thing triple j does every year. While we celebrate the year’s best music, we believe that together with a great organisation like AIME, triple j has a powerful opportunity and a responsibility to create a positive impact. In partnering with AIME we hope to raise money to empower Indigenous young people and also acknowledge and discuss all perspectives of 26 January.”