ABC star Leigh Sales urges staff to maintain the Heart’s Uluru Declaration is a ‘one-page document’ – as she offers tactics to crush arguments over the extended 26-page version
ABC bosses have sent staff a step-by-step guide written by veteran journalist Leigh Sales on how to quash suggestions that the Heart’s Uluru Declaration is not a ‘one-page document’ .
The former 7:30 host, who is now the face of Australian Story, shared her thoughts on the controversial issue in an email sent to ABC staff on Thursday from the public channel’s head of editorial policy, Mark Maley.
Sales said a recent example of misinformation was “the claim that the Uluru statement is a 26-page document” – a claim that led to a public spat this week between Sky News host Peta Credlin and Chris Kenny.
“That’s inaccurate,” Leigh told her colleagues, according to The Australian.
“The Uluru Heart Statement is a one-page document. »
ABC star Leigh Sales (pictured) has written a step-by-step guide on how to overturn the controversial claim that the Heart Uluru Statement is 26 pages instead of just one.
The Uluru Heart Statement is the document that underpins the Voice to Parliament referendum.
Sales then offers a step-by-step approach to disproving the 26-page claim, telling staff the “The source of this misinformation is FOI research relating to the Uluru Declaration which produced 25 pages of minutes of meetings held with indigenous communities.”
“These were part of a consultation process that helped inform Uluru’s final one-page statement,” Sales wrote.
“These pages are not part of Uluru’s final statement.”
Sales’s intervention comes just days after bitter disagreement over the actual length of the document that underpins the Voice to Parliament referendum due to take place later this year surfaced in the media.
The vote will decide whether First Nations people will be enshrined in the Constitution and whether a body will be created to advise Parliament on the issues facing Indigenous Australians.
Sky News host Peta Credlin is at war with fellow Sky presenter Chris Kenny over her claim that the Uluru statement is 26 pages long rather than a single page of 439 words.
Sales encouraged ABC staff to refute claims of “bias” and explained how they might deal with criticism.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has repeatedly said that this proposal fits on an A4 page. He held up a piece of paper with Uluru’s declaration in Parliament.
Credlin was this week furious that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, affixed a “false information” tag to its 26-page statement, which was allegedly discovered in a freedom of information request.
Kenny called his claim “nonsense.”
ABC’s Media Watch host Paul Barry then spoke, concluding that Meta may have overstepped the mark and that a “contested” label would be more appropriate – putting him at odds with his colleague Sales.
“The Uluru Declaration is expressed on one page, but there are many more pages of notes and background – where issues like a treaty and reparations are raised,” Barry said on Media Watch.
“And given that what Credlin says may make sense, we think a contested label would be more appropriate.”
Sales acknowledged that it could be “intimidating” to argue that Uluru’s statement is only one page long.
But she outlined tactics to meet opposing claims.
“Ms. X, respectfully, I will correct your assertion that the Uluru statement is a 26-page document,” Sales wrote.
“This is a one-page document, the other 25 pages are minutes collected during a consultation phase and are not part of the final document.”
Sales said ABC staff should encourage interviewees to “then move on to your next question” and retaliate if accused of “bias.”
“The ABC is far from the only organization speaking out against the spread of this misinformation,” she wrote.
An ABC spokeswoman told The Australian: ‘The email to staff is self-explanatory and we have nothing further to add.