A veteran News Corp Australia photographer has given devastating evidence to a parliamentary inquiry about the way the Murdoch newspapers treated female employees and directed photographers to only take pictures of conventionally attractive young women.

Anna Rogers, who was made redundant last year, told the media diversity inquiry she worked in a sexist and toxic culture at Cumberland Newspapers, the Australian, the Courier-Mail and the Cairns Post between 1991 and 2020, where men were consistently promoted over women.

Women were denied pay rises and flexible work hours and she believed all staff were forced to sign employment contracts which gave the company the right to “listen in” to their phone calls, she told senators.

Rogers said she had been consistently told not to take pictures of “pigs in lipstick” while the appearance of male subjects was never raised.

Newspapers chase the desires of the readership, not impose it. This is thus a statement about Australians, not newspapers.

13 thoughts on “Err, yes?”

  1. she worked in a sexist and toxic culture…

    For near on 30 years! And not once did she have the basic good sense to try working somewhere else?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    A few years ago the BBC published the page on A level results early by mistake. The picture slot had a caption that said something like “picture of 2 pretty girls celebrating”. Needless to say nothing was made of that.

  3. “During a news conference the editor Paul Kelly indicated to the news conference staff that the Australian wanted to increase female readership,” Rogers said in her submission. “His argument was that women buy women’s magazines and that they like to look at attractive women.”

    […]

    this attitude had a negative effect on society, Rogers said.

    Where’s the actual evidence for this tho? The sexist, laddish larrikins of the 90’s seemed a lot healthier than today’s incredibly fake and gay society.

  4. Well, as an Aussie, I definitely prefer beautiful young ladies to pigs in lipstick. So I have to agree that the editors’ judgment is correct in this instance.

    Of course maybe the girls’d prefer to look at some sort of Conan in football gear rather than at what the competition is (not) wearing. But I suspect that Paul Kelly’s guess is better than mine.

  5. “Conventionally attractive” = attractive in a sense one might find a Romanesque cathedral attractive compared to a Brutalist Soviet style building. With classic features, perhaps even a cleft chin on a woman (moving away from architecture here), good symmetrical facial bone structure, eyes not too close to each other. The opposite of Annaliese Dodds.

  6. On the subject of flexible working, I notice that it was never claimed that men were allowed flexible working while women were not. At my last job it was common for women to go off and have babies and the come back and work part time. Once I had paid off my mortgage and was only a few years away from retiring, I requested to go to part time working and was refused. I could have fought it by claiming sexual discrimination I suppose. In the end it meant that I could afford to retire sooner so it worked out better in the end.

  7. Steve,

    “The sexist, laddish larrikins of the 90’s seemed a lot healthier than today’s incredibly fake and gay society.”

    But that’s still a lot of our society. It just moved. If you’re looking at the old fun places, like TV and print media, that’s all been overrun by the purple hair brigade. The media companies of the early 2000s too. Lots of video game writing is about queer representation and some such shit. They’ve overrun Twitter, too.

    But then you go onto YouTube, TikTok and Reddit and they’re full of normal people. Girls giving make-up advice, men giving tips on repointing walls. TikTok is full of girls flirting, guys doing skateboarding tricks.

  8. In Finland there is a special type of woman. Not a lesbo, but ugly, not just the face but they quite often have a “bison neck”, a hump in the back of the neck. So they think they can hide it. Perhaps a tattoo here or there to draw attention away from the face. But almost always it’s the hair, the “style” is called “Soiro”. Purple, red, raven black, one side done with number one ie lopsided, perhaps a lock of hair on the forehead. They can’t fool me!

  9. “His argument was that women buy women’s magazines and that they like to look at attractive women.”

    On the rare occasions I have leafed through a magazine aimed at the ladies, I have noticed the same. Even in Slimming World magazine they keep the ‘before’ photos small.

  10. Aren’t those magazines a sort of Escapism? A make believe? Not just the people but houses and furniture, gardens etc. Perhaps people have dreams and aspirations. If I want to see someone tackling an overgrown garden there are plenty of Youtube channels for that and this chaps is very good in his field…
    https://youtu.be/PhbjwfqUaDQ

    But when one buys a glossy magazine one doesn’t want to see that reality.

  11. jgh, addictive isn’t it? So much good content on youtube.

    Do you like puzzles and sudokus? Check out Cracking the Cryptic. My record is 3h45minutes but I got there in the end without help. Knowing all the permutations by heart would have helped.

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