The response to an SBS comedy article mocking News Corp journalists for losing their jobs has not gone down well, with people complaining the article was insensitive and tacky.
Yesterday B&T reported News Corp Australia’s publications were cutting 55 editorial roles, in response to the news SBS’s satirical website The Backburner published a story titled “Fired News Corp Journalists Now Free To Pursue Jobs As Actual Journalists”.
The satirical article writes: “Journalists fired in News Corp cuts to jobs across a number of its newspapers are now free to pursue jobs with other newspapers as actual journalists.
“I was devastated at first,” says one of the fired journalists, who wished to remain anonymous to avoid having their name associated with News Corp. “No one wants to lose their job, even if it is essentially being a pawn to a megalomaniacal near-corpse looming over the Australian media landscape like a decrepit octogenarian Galactus.
“But with some time to sink in it’s really freeing, just like thinking about the possibilities. I could write about things that happen without trying to shoehorn them into a fear-mongering, nightmarish, right wing agenda! I may never have to type the words ‘death cult’ again!”
“It’s actually kind of convenient that Malcolm Turnbull is prime minister now because we’d worn out the feature where it either gives you a heartfelt love letter to Tony Abbott’s leadership or a strongly worded editorial telling people to lay off Tony and his leadership.”
Journalists, editors and industry observers didn’t get the joke and labelled the article inappropriate (despite it being satire), with many taking to Twitter to express outrage:
Ha ha ha. People lost their job. The same fate should befall whoever wrote this and the editor who allowed it. https://t.co/uqymvIzWRU
— Anthony Sharwood (@antsharwood) November 23, 2015
— Paul Syvret (@PSyvret) November 23, 2015
— liamhoulihan (@liamhoulihan) November 23, 2015
This SBS ‘outrage’ over NewsCorp sackings is a deep stare into the hollow, narcissism of journalists. They really do think they are special.
— Darryl Snow (@lapuntadelfin) November 23, 2015
What kind of media company thinks hardworking people losing their jobs is funny? Disgusting. Stay classy, SBS. https://t.co/wdSc4PS7GI
— Tom Minear (@tminear) November 23, 2015
— Tom Cowie (@tom_cowie) November 23, 2015
— Leith Marshall (@LeithMarshall) November 23, 2015
I don’t laugh at the idea of real people losing their jobs but then I’m not a complete dickhead. https://t.co/DPOEJNQsHX
— Stacy Farrar (@FarrarStacy) November 23, 2015
SBS has since issued a statement to News Corps The Australian: “The Backburner is a satirical site which publishes articles across a breadth of topics, including local current affairs, which are clearly labelled as comedy/ satire…Like all of our industry, SBS is not immune to budget reductions, has had to manage job losses over the years, and we are acutely aware of the sensitivities.”