In case you missed it – and unless you’re deeply invested in mainstream journalism, you probably did – the Walkley Awards were on last night.
It’s the journalism night-of-nights, where excellent reporters are awarded for their ground-breaking work, and everyone else gets pissed and spends the night schmoozing, seething with jealousy, and pontificating about the Importance of the Fourth Estate.
The awards are also broadcast on Sky News. That coverage meant a cheeky moment when Hamish Macdonald – recently announced as the new host of ABC’s flagship current affairs program Q&A – flipped the bird was caught on camera.
“But this is normal!!!” I hear you say. “Aussies love to swear and be rude!”
Or, more likely, I can see you already commenting: “HOW IS THIS NEWS?”
It’s very much not news. I’d like to make that clear. But ‘ABC-related journalist behaving slightly badly’ seems to be just too juicy for the folks over at Sky News to let it pass them by.
So, they wrote a story. It’s six paragraphs, has no byline, and seems to exist mainly to be dunked on by Twitter.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 28, 2019
In the story, the anonymous author contrasts Hamish doing a rude finger with the nice things his new ABC boss Gaven Morris said about him a few weeks ago, including that Hamish was “articulate” and that his new job required having “a special set of skills”.
Perhaps because none of us have anything better to do, Sky News’ tweet is now being dunked on, repeatedly.
Folks, it’s Australia. Love him even more.
— Benjamin Law 羅旭能 (@mrbenjaminlaw) November 28, 2019
you don’t have to be like this, you know. you could stop. have you considered just stopping?
— Scott Ludlam (@Scottludlam) November 28, 2019
This isn’t even the biggest scandal to hit the Walkley Awards; just a few short years ago, a BuzzFeed reporter claimed he’d been offered cocaine by a union official and everyone swiftly called him a narc. Where would we be about journalism.