Journalism student relives newsroom horror: the intern’s story
JOURNALISTS should especially enjoy this report from a Melbourne University journalism student who spent two weeks toiling at a newspaper’s office. She wrote up her experiences at the coalface for us to enjoy. Highlights are many. For those of you spent your training being bawled at, having a heavy telephone chucked at your face by an upset editor (ahem) and made to work hard and fast, this testimony should be an entertaining read.
Throughout the week, I was consistently subjected to patronising attitudes, being referred to as ‘Little Bud’, ‘Champ’ and ‘Kidlet.’ Men were also continuously and unnecessarily sexist, waiting for me to walk through doors and leave the elevator before them.
On the first day of my placement, seniorjournalists and the editor ofThe Hun revieweda piece about an overweight man who wasendeavoring to lose 200kg through hypnosis.Comments in the news conference included“Of course he’s fat, look at what he eats” and“How does someone let that happen
On the seventh day, I was asked to writea story about pigs being used to test breastaugmentation in a “humorous” tone. I foundthe proposition absurd and informed mysuperior that I felt the story was essentiallygovernment funded animal cruelty. Hisresponse: “You don’t mind if I buxom baconit up? It’s worth is just so we can use thephrase ‘perky porkers.’” The story did not
The senior journalist opposite me movedfrom transphobia to homophobia on theeighth day, commenting on a recent pieceon gay marriage. “Why are they [the gaycommunity] making such a fuss? It’s beenthis way for millennia, why change now?”Although he had a right to state an opinion,the blatant sense of entitlement and privilegein the room was palpable
Basic fact checking would haverefuted many of the heteronormative, white,elitist opinions expressed in that buildingregarding gender and trans people.
These encounters all happened in aperiod of two short weeks—I shudder tothink of the other wrongdoings that musttake place throughout an entire year.
Anyone want to tell the group about your experiences in the newsroom?
Photo: This is the city room of the New York Times after a federal judge ordered the paper to temporarily cease publication of a series of articles on the Vietnam war based on a Pentagon study, June 15, 1971. From left are Times editors James L. Greenfield, foreign editor; Max Frankel, chief Washington correspondent; and Fred P. Graham from the Times Washington bureau. (AP Photo) Date: 15/06/1971
Spotter: Tim Blair