i’m really tired of being silent on this issue. personally, i don’t think what i’m about to say should present any kind of threat or surprise to my bosses, but if it does to the point that they feel like kicking me up the bracket for it … well, so be it. i’ll take that bracket-kicking. it’ll be worth it just to get these thoughts out there.
i am a run-of-the-mill, under-the-radar, hard-working honest journalist on a regional daily newspaper owned by News Limited here in Australia. it won’t take you too much digging around to figure out which one, given i link to it all the time.
i don’t know one colleague in our newsroom who thinks the actions of the News of the World are anything less than repugnant and offensive.
i don’t know one colleague in our newsroom who would for one moment consider similar actions in order to get a story.
i am sick to my back teeth of being tarred with the same brush as the News of the World and its actions, simply because we are owned by the same corporation.
i am sick, frankly, of being considered similar to even my News Limited colleagues in the big metropolitan daily papers in this country.
Not because i think those papers are behaving in NotW-like fashion — far from it — but because the differences between regional and daily newspapers in terms of resources and ethos are chalk and cheese.
saying we are all the same is a false argument.
the newsroom i work in is small by any standard other than regional weeklies and freebies. it used to be a lot bigger. but News Limited’s way of satisfying its fiduciary responsibilities to its shareholders is to maximise profit while minimising costs. i can’t argue with that, regardless of how hard it makes my job.
the journalists in our newsroom are, for the most part, young, keen, green and on the steepest learning curve imaginable. they are also idealistic and, enthusiastic and, without fail, well-meaning. they would no more consider unethical practices than i would consider entering Miss Universe.
i’m tired of the huddled masses hating my profession on reflex. people are quick to forget the good stories, the community-minded stories, the well-written stories, the worthy stories. people are quick to label us biased, with an agenda. believe it or not, with the exception of a planned campaign on, say, wiping out crime on our city’s streets, or exposing an incompetent city council, agendas just never come into it. we don’t have the time, or the resources.
none of it is true, at least in my 23-year experience as a News Limited journalist. when i started at my paper we weren’t even part of News Limited.
we’re just a bunch of workers, trying to do our job, in a frankly under-resourced, over-pressured environment that makes me break out in hives on a daily basis.
i’m not saying that there isn’t corruption somewhere in the Australian mastheads of News Limited. i wouldn’t know where or when. but i know that the vast majority of our journalists, editors and managing directors are honest, hard-working, talented people who get tired of the abuse.
I AM NOT A SCUMBAG, I AM A HUMAN BEING WHOSE ONLY MISTAKE WAS TO CHOOSE A CAREER ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE. APPARENTLY.