Again a student journalist is in hot water for standing by what she believes is right.
We all remember the debacle Lauren Ingram created when she declined to withdraw her FOI request a few months ago.
This time the student journalist from The University of Melbourne, which is claimed to be Sasha Burden, decided to tell about her experience at the Herald Sun.
Our journalism lecturers teach us that one of the most important rules in an internship is to not question your superiors.Don’t rock the boat, don’t tell the edit or show to do their job, don’t make a mess, and don’t cause a fuss. Because of this, it may not be one my greatest ideas to write an article critical of the popular institution I interned for. But as an aspiring student journalist it would be wrong of me to not bring light to scenarios I believe demean us all.
As expected, this piece has been met with criticism. The worst criticism I have come across so far is by VEXNEWS. A news site which claims to provide its readers with “what journalism should be.”
If their criticism of Sasha Burden, as they claim her name to be, “is what journalism should be,” then I finally understand why journalists are so poorly respected in Australia, to the point they are hated.
Andrew Landeryou Editor in Chief of VEXNEWS felt he had to add a comment to defend their decision to publish this piece to show “what journalism should be.”
When defending the use of a collective byline Mr Landeryou writes:
By-lines are a relatively recent feature of journalism, as those studying it perhaps ought to know.
It is always fascinating when the word “recent” is used instead of an accurate date. In a piece by Reuters editor, Jack Shafer he writes:
…and by 1926 the word “byline” (actually “by-line”) had entered the English language…
However, it is worth noting that the concept of bylines is far from that “new” as stated in the same article by Mr Shafer:
In the middle of the 1800s … bylines were still rare ornaments.
This information raises the question, what does Mr Landeryou mean by recent? Less than 100 years or over 200 years? It seems then that it would be fair to also raise questions regarding Mr Landeryou’s journalism and history education.
Mr Landeryou continues:
Her callous disregard for others is itself typical of our observations of the ultra-left, many of them talk of community but act self-indulgently
The first part of this sentence reeks of MacArthurism. And talk about contradicting himself. The VEXNEWS article about Ms Burden stinks of self-indulgence, as Mr Landeryou shows here:
Ms Burden made a big mistake, in our view, and we have no problem calling her out for it.
We thought carefully about identifying her and stand by our decision to do so and to hold her to account for her public works, partly by examining whether she was also a beneficiary of ‘privilege’.
Mr Landeryou seems a bit puzzled by Ms Burden:
So how does she explain this enthusiasm to return to the place she so loathed?
All he needs to do is to look at what his own publication claims to do – investigative journalism. If you want to uncover something and get a second chance to enter the lion’s den unnoticed, you don’t decline, you go in and gather more information.
VEXNEWS is proud to let you know that:
Our famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit has broken so many stories, revealed political secrets, brought down ministers, rifled through dusty archives and generally being willing to go where others won’t in search of the truth.
Ms Burden did exactly what investigative journalists do, they go in, presumable undercover, gather information, expose the truth and piss people off. The last part is of course where often the story can fall apart, because not everyone likes to be exposed, but that should not matter.
The truth takes no side, it does not need the other side of the story, it is unchangeable and objective in its own way. The same that 1+1=2. There is no need to debate that, no need for two sides to confirm or deny that 1+1=2. It just is that – truth.