Australian Financial Review removes ‘trivializing’ references to female journalists after ABC and Seven complaint | Australian media

The Australian Financial Review removed references to two female journalists from an article after complaints from the ABC and the Seven Network about the paper’s “trivializing” portrayal of their employees.

But the Nine Entertainment-owned newspaper refrained from apologizing to the women, instead attaching a “clarification” at the bottom of the article.

An earlier version of this online story included details that were neither relevant nor necessary. Those details have since been deleted.

AFR Senior Correspondent Aaron Patrick included gratuitous references to two political journalists in an online Thursday analysis of media coverage of the Victorian election: Melbourne journalist waging guerrilla war with his prime minister.

While Patrick described the Age’s Paul Sakkal as an “ambitious young reporter”, he referred to the Victorian state political reporter for the ABC as “ABC TV’s Bridget Rollason, who shot TikTok videos to music of herself going to a gym, having breakfast and putting on make-up”.

According to Rollason, there are no TikTok videos on her account of her at the gym or having breakfast.

Patrick described Seven Network political reporter Sharnelle Vella as having “her own talent agent.”

Seven and the ABC wrote letters of complaint to AFR editor Michael Stutchbury.

“The ABC complained to the Australian Financial Review and Aaron Patrick about the irrelevant, incorrect and trivial reference to award-winning journalist Bridget Rollason and demanded that the story be changed,” the ABC said.

The newspaper did not explain why Patrick’s article in the print newspaper did not contain the references.

The online article referred to a press conference with Dan Andrews in Melbourne on Monday as follows: “Sakkal was joined by ABC radio presenter Rafael Epstein, one of the few journalists with whom Andrews was friendly; Australia’s Rachel Baxendale, who had long been harassed by Andrews’ Twitter followers; Julia Bradley of Sky News, who is a lifelong reviewer of Andrews; ABC TV’s Bridget Rollason, who shot TikTok videos to upbeat music of herself hitting the gym, having breakfast and putting on makeup; Sharnelle Vella of the Seven Network, who has her own talent agent; and Gus McCubbing, reporter for The Australian Financial Review.

Stutchbury told Guardian Australia the comments have been deleted.

“Allegations about journalists contained in Aaron Patrick’s report have been removed from the online article,” he said. “The claims detracted from what was otherwise a well-written article.”

Last year, an article by Patrick about News Corp reporter Samantha Maiden was described by some as a best-selling work and criticized by reporters across the media.

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