SMH staff call for editor’s axing

FOURTH ESTATE HEROISM:

A mass meeting of angry journalists at The Sydney Morning Herald has called on editor Bevan Shields to resign over his “disgracefully biased and unprofessional take” on Monday’s Sydney rail stoppage.

Using a series of tweets, Shields completely ignored the real reason for the deserted platforms – train crews had been shut out by management – to give weight to state and federal Liberal attacks on Labor and transport unions.

Shouting “Independent. Always”, more than 200 reporters, subeditors, graphic designers and the paper’s one remaining fulltime photographer met in the paper’s forecourt to slam Shields for his, as one senior staffer put it, “total abrogation of the most fundamental basis of the craft of journalism, namely the balanced and fair reporting of stories”.

Another old hand who has been stubbornly waiting for a retirement package but who knows how to spell “commitment” and “remuneration” and can use “baton” and “batten” properly was said to have tears in his eyes as he watched his colleagues defend the ethics of the profession he has loved all his working life.

Unfortunately, a large herd of plump, pink flying pigs drifted in from the south-west and settled overhead, darkening the forecourt. The swine then lifted their curly tails and started pissing and shitting on the SMH staff members before they could pass a motion condemning Shields and demanding his immediate sacking. It most likely would have been unanimous.

They were forced to scurry back inside to their desks to await instructions for their next anti-Albanese story, Scott Morrison-and-loving-family feature or Perrottet puff-piece and the graphics and images needed to go with them.