What was intended to be an anonymous spray at her work experience hosts has got aspiring reporter Sasha Burden making headlines before she's even landed a job.
Baptism of fire or bad taste? That's the debate after an intern at one of Australia's leading tabloids opened up Pandora's box.
What was intended to be an anonymous spray at her work experience hosts has got aspiring reporter Sasha Burden making headlines before she's even landed a job.More stories from Today Tonight
The intern at Melbourne's Herald Sun gave an anonymous appraisal of her two weeks by writing a piece for Melbourne Universities in-house newspaper Farrago about her time at the tabloid.
The Herald Sun's rival The Age is happily spreading her views.
Burden says she heard a colleague say "it's good to have the Catholics in the news with no pedophilia; although I guess there's still sex and gays."
She wrote that she felt “men were also continuously and unnecessarily sexist, waiting for me to walk through doors and leave the elevator before them."
Meghan Clemment is an editor for online newspaper The Conversation. According to her “there were things in there that I think would be confronting to a young person, and probably aren't ideal in a workplace, but just the whole approach to it - it seemed that she didn't carry it off well I would say.”
Fellow Melbourne University students shared her right to write.
“I think it's probably made people more aware of internships and what they involve,” one student said.
But the Herald Sun's editor Phil Gardner is perplexed that Burden didn't raise any of her concerns while she was at the newspaper.
"It is ironic that Ms Burden criticises the supposed bias of Herald Sun reporters and lack of balance in Herald Sun reports, yet at no stage in the drafting of her Farrago article did Ms Burden offer a right of reply to any criticisms raised," Gardner said.
Burden declined to be interviewed today but what's of concern now is whether her piece put the future of work experience and internships at risk.
Victorian employers group VECCI’s Richard Clancy warns workplace hosts to be mindful of young visitors.
“I think it might give businesses cause to just have a look at their internship programs and make sure that they've got formal arrangements in place so that everybody understands what’s expected when an internship takes place,” Clancy said.
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