The past two weeks has been filled with plenty of online comment about the Murdoch press’s pathetic piece of click bait Former recruitment agent spills details on what really goes on in the industry that was published on News.com.au’s websites around the country on 14 November 2013.
Plenty of industry people leapt into the fray, including Scott Recruitment Services’ Craig Watson, people2people’s Lisa Johnson and SB Recruitment’s Scott Brown. All making excellent points in response to the extraordinarily cowardly ‘ex-recruitment agent’ who has so much courage and credibility he won’t put his name to the poisonous vile that he spews forth.
However my greatest criticism isn’t for the source of the article it’s for the so-called journalist, Victoria Craw, of News.com.au who wrote the offending copy.
You might think that such an unbalanced piece of muckraking would be the result of a work experience kid taking an opportunity to make a name for themselves. But no. Victoria is not a work experience kid. She is, in fact, the Business Editor (!) of News.com.au. Hard to believe isn’t it? She’s had this gig for seven months, having officially been a journalist for just over 12 months, after completing her Certificate in Journalism last year at UTS.
Victoria’s LinkedIn profile informs the world that she is ‘Trained in media law, freedom of information, search engine optimisation, shooting video and sound recording, presenting to camera, recording voice overs and editing using Final Cut Pro.’
She’s obviously a versatile lass, whose flexibility must be attractive to those good folk in senior management at News.com.au however it’s clear Victoria was missing in action during the induction session that covered her employer’s Professional Conduct Policy.
On page 3 the policy states, under Accuracy:
1.1 Facts must be reported impartially, accurately and with integrity.
1.3 Try always to tell all sides of the story in any kind of dispute
1.5 Journalists should not rely on only one source
Err, Victoria, I hate to break the news to you but you badly bombed out on each of those three points.
Oh, and while you’re busily swotting up on the Accuracy section of the Code before your next big scoop as Business Editor, you might also check section 6 (Confidential sources) because this is what it says:
6.1 The sources of information must be identified, wherever possible. When an informant insists on anonymity, verification of the information offered must be sought from other, preferably attributable, sources.
Duh! Another bomb out, Victoria!
It sure looks to me like Certificates in Journalism from UTS must be as easy to come by as bitter, unsuccessful ex-recruitment consultants who want to blame anything or anyone but themselves for their career tailspin.
I don’t pretend that the whole recruitment industry is full of vestal virgins who all operate with integrity every time. No industry can claim that. Of course we have our share of shonks and crooks. Of course some recruitment agencies have ethical standards that are as flexible as the folding stuff they are chasing.
But please treat us with respect and do us the courtesy of writing a balanced article quoting credible sources who are prepared to go on the record. I mean, we are an industry that has spent tens of millions of advertising dollars with your company over the past few decades. For that, at least, the recruitment industry deserves a fair hearing.
Instead, it appears that News Corporation have no interest in respecting their clients, training their staff properly or vetting what passes for ‘news’ before it’s inflicted on their readers.
What a debacle.