1 February, 2016 11:15
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
A reporter for the “House Of Pop Cult” news and media organisation, Pedestrian.tv, has had her employment terminated during a group WIP meeting this morning, on the grounds that her idea of news was not inline with the company’s advertising portfolio.
Kate Winters, an aspiring news journalist who dreams of one day working for the ABC, says she was asked to leave after editors read through her recent attempt to report on the atrocities currently taking place in the Central African Republic.
“I was told the only way they would have run the story was if I can find a funny pun to put in the headline,” says the now unemployed communications graduate.
“My boss proposed ‘Right Black At Ya!’ – But I thought that it was a bit insensitive considering the entire story was surrounding ethnic violence in one of the poorest nations in Africa,”
“After I said that, they told me to fuck off and get a job at The Guardian if I want to save the world,”
Throughout the course of her 18-month unpaid internship with the popular online newspaper, the 22-year-old says she was warned on three separate occasions for pitching inappropriate headlines to her employers.
The first being her proposal to report on the traumatic experiences faced by the young children detained on Manus Island, the second warning came about after she began researching new findings into the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) – and the third and final warning was related to her vocalising an interest into the rise of previously extinct illnesses in remote Aboriginal communities.
“When I first started pitching hard news stories, the editors took me out to lunch at a Seinfield-themed cat-friendly Mexican-Japanese fusion cafe and milkbar, they sat me down and told me that I had to focus on clicks. They said that my style of reporting wasn’t in line with their business model,”
Pedestrian.tv claims to have a ‘loyal’ audience of over 200,000 combined subscribers between the ages of 16 to 35, they sell their readers as affluent, influential and hungry for new information and experiences.
Kate Winters says with a such a contrived faux-left-wing hipster format, it was very difficult for her to have stories of any merit published through the outlet.
“I was put on probation and ordered to write seven ‘listicles’ a week, they had to be about either the Kardashians, the Jenners, puppies trying to walk down stairs or some sort of lazy feminist piece that involves Emma Watson”.
While Ms Winters says she is not interested in appealing her termination of employment, she says she is worried she may not be able to find work as an actual investigative journalist in Australia.
“All the other places I have been looking at want to know if I am competent in copywriting for Iced Tea companies, it’s as though you can’t expect to be able to report real stories anymore unless it appeals to trendy clients,”
“I guess I’ll just get a job in marketing for a pharmaceutical company, either that or I can run an instagram account for a fashion label.”
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