The Daily Mail has hit back at the MEAA following its criticism of how the tabloid news site handled firing a young journalist.
The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) released a statement condemning the actions of the Daily Mail in the wake of a young journalist being fired for writing “c*nt” in an article.
The union called out the Daily Mail’s handling of the situation, pinning the error down to a “symptomatic of the lack of resources and absence of oversight experienced by young journalists in digital media”.
MEAA media director Katelin McInerney added, “Errors like the one made by the Daily Mail Australia journalist are inevitable in an environment which places quantity of content above quality, and does not provide the extra layer of checking that comes from sub-editors.”
Now, the Daily Mail has hit back at the statement, calling the MEAA “disappointing”.
Speaking exclusively to B&T, Daily Mail executive editor Lachlan Heywood said, “How disappointing the MEAA would choose to use this incident to denigrate digital journalism and the journalists working in this growing part of the industry – without even bothering to find out the full details.”
He added, “At no stage did the union attempt to contact Daily Mail Australia before releasing its statement.”
Addressing the “lack of resources”, as suggested by the MEAA, Heywood highlighted the issues and cutbacks being face by media outlets on a national level.
“Daily Mail Australia is a significant employer of young – and senior – journalists in Australia at a time when the industry is suffering from widespread cutbacks.”
“It has arguably the best trainee scheme for young journalists in Australia – a two-year program which involves not only working here, but travelling for placements in both the company’s London and New York newsrooms to further their careers.”
The paragraph in question, which refers to Bachelor in Paradise contestants as “vapid c*nts [who] only go on the shows to find mediocre Instagram fame and make a living promoting teeth whiteners and unnecessary cosmetic procedures”, was live for several hours before senior editors pulled it.
The Daily Mail released a public apology for the article and fired the journalist.