“Anonymous” was lucky enough to get a two-week internship at the Herald Sun. She was shocked by the sexist depravity that went on there, including chaps opening the door for her and other manifestations of misogyny. So she unburdened herself in the pages of Melbourne Uni’s own student newspaper Farrago, pouring a bucket on them. We explore the issues and reveal her identity and privileged private school background.
An intern signed up for two week internship at the Herald Sun. She then wrote an absurdly nasty, vile attack on them as thanks, including expressing a fervent desire that the newspaper close.
Her piece is available in Farrago here and it saddens us at many levels, not least of which is that might make many other newsrooms less enthusiastic about trusting journalism students with a genuine exposure to what goes on in their world.
‘Anonymous’ slams the Herald Sun as guilty of every conceivable ism, even expressing horror that “sexist” behaviour manifested itself in holding the door open for her or waiting for her to leave an elevator first.
The Australian does a fine takedown on it but doesn’t mention her by name. Her article itself is here.
As you can see, ‘Anonymous’:
■ Claims to be studying journalism but appears to hate journalists and journalism;
■ Denounces Herald Sun staff as sexist, transphobic, homophobic, disrespecting animal rights, insensitive to the rights of the fat, “privileged”, “heteronormative” (definitely one you’ll see reused on VEXNEWS some time soon), white, elitist and so on.
■ Claims the Herald Sun’s big brown building of love is grey, an error suggesting her powers of observation might not be all one would customarily hope for in a journalist;
■ Concludes: I usually feel sad when poring over decreasing readerships and closed mastheads. But any force —declining revenue, ethical maelstroms, online competition— that can injure this publication, should be met with party poppers, streamers and a piñata of a certain “climate skeptic’s” head. If Australia’s big mastheads all function like this then I say bring on their decline. Rip down the banners that have led to media exclusivity and elitism. Huzzah to the future of online, diverse reporting.
Who is Sasha Burden? Is it all about the hair-cut?
We’re glad she likes the VEXNEWS alternative that celebrates its fourth anniversary this very day. But we simply cannot let this vile humbug stand.
Because she’d tell all her friends she’s all for transparency, disclosure and Julian Assange, we’re happy revealing her identity after extensive discussion among the VEXNEWS Ethical Standards Board.
University and media sources reveal her name is Sasha Burden, a lefty lesbian militant with a funky haircut, who is studying at a university after a successful stint at private school Billanook College of Moorolbark.
The school boasts that its students will be tutored in the important “Pillars of the Round Square” (don’t ask):
Billanook is dedicated to the underlying Pillars of Round Square:
Service to Others
How very kumbaya.
Her haircut has been inspired by an artist known as Skrillex. In the mean-time we have used his pic. Hopefully he won’t be too offended.
Her previous works for Farrago – a Melbourne University student newspaper seized by VEXNEWS management in a stunning early 1990s coup from ultra-left zealots – include the haunting “How to be my girlfriend” where she:
■ Promises to wear ‘slutty’ underwear (perhaps she’s reclaiming this misogynist word);
■ Expresses her enthusiasm for bath-tub sex;
■ Makes it clear she prefers her lovers to pay for her drinks;
■ Plots to have sexual relations on construction sites (an enlightening prospect for the CFMEU blokes on site no doubt)
■ Suggests her commitment to ladies might not be exclusive with “flirting with a guy in college” being on the agenda, possibly in response to a lover dabbling with heroin, potentially exposing her to HIV, hepatitis and heartache.
If there’s been a more self-important person to have entered the Herald Sun building, we’d be surprised. Yes, including Alan Howe.
5PM UPDATE: The Australian answering the trumpet call of freedom issuing forth from VEXNEWS has named and shamed Ms Burden and reports Phil Gardiner, the editor-in-chief of the Herald Sun has written to Melbourne University’s internship department:
A STUDENT newspaper journalist’s anonymous report of her experiences at Australia’s largest selling daily newspaper has led to a complaint to The University of Melbourne.
The Australian understands the editor-in-chief of The Herald Sun Phil Gardner has written to the University about the conduct of the journalism student, Sasha Burden, who interned at the newspaper for a fortnight last March.
Burden declined to comment when contacted yesterday. [VEXNEWS: I hope non-hetero-normative conversational principles were observed...]
It is understood Gardner has written to the University of Melbourne’s internship department to point out Burden did not share her views with staff at the newspaper at the time, despite having the opportunity to do so. Nor did the student offer the newspaper a right of reply to the anonymous article before it was published.
This was Burden’s second internship with the newspaper, following a work experience placement when she was a high school student in 2007.
Excuse me? It was her second internship at the newspaper?! Words fail.
UPDATE: As promised, in continued celebration of the four years of VEXNEWS, the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit has found some happy snaps of Ms Burden.