Friday, May 16, 2008

Your tax dollars at work

Courtesy of the Victorian gov't, here is the biggest waste of tax dollars I've seen recently.

Media Internships, Government Branch The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) is leading a whole of Victorian Government suite of initiatives to strengthen community harmony, build resilience, and help to counter negative stereotypes which may be expressed in response to contemporary social issues. Muslim communities have been under particular pressure, indicating the need for initiatives to promote a broader understanding of Islam and Muslim culture and lifestyles amongst the wider Victorian community.

In this context, DPC is seeking applications for the 2008 DPC Media Internship Program. The Media Internships will commence during the university vacation period between Semester 1 and 2, 2008 (from mid-June to mid-July 2008). The Internships will run for a total of up to 2 months (up to 8 weeks), and may involve a combination of full-time and part-time employment. Applications close COB Monday 26 May 2008.

Position Details

The Media Internship seeks to:

1. Increase the interns’ awareness of the operations of Victoria’s mainstream media;

2. Provide an opportunity for the interns to engage with mainstream media staff and diminish cultural barriers;

3. Enable the interns to identify ways to increase knowledge and understanding within the mainstream media of issues affecting and relating to Victoria’s Muslim communities;

4. Increase awareness within the host media organisations about the diversity and complexity of Victoria’s Muslim communities;

5. Develop the interns’ practical newsgathering skills and journalistic experience within a mainstream media organisation; and

6. Enable the interns to develop their leadership potential.

Organisational Environment:

The interns will be employed by DPC, and seconded to a Victorian-based mainstream media organisation, such as a commercial or public television network, newspaper or radio station.


The Media Interns will undertake a combination of day-to-day tasks and journalism work. Duties may include compiling or checking standard editorial material, basic research, reporting, writing, photographic or editorial work under close supervision and working/liaising with a variety of staff and members of the community.

Key Selection Criteria:

DPC are seeking applicants who can demonstrate that they are completing their final year of journalism studies, or are a practicing journalist in a non-mainstream media outlet. The applicant must have an appreciation and thorough understanding of Muslim culture as well as a strong sense of newsworthiness and commitment to news journalism as a career path. The applicant must demonstrate strong research and written skills, and possess the ability to prepare concise and accurate news stories information to short deadlines and have excellent attention to detail, including good proof reading and sub-editing abilities.


People often refer to these things as "jobs", but I am always quick to point out that they are not jobs in the economic sense. Your labour is not being employed towards a productive end and the employer is not exchanging any of their property (i.e money) for your services.

Instead the government is literally throwing somebody else's money towards somebody who can fulfill a role that they invent. Not because they need the skills to perform an economic function, to manufacture something, to provide services that are in demand. But because governments will not exist if they don't put on a moral and benign appearance. So we promote vaguely defined positions which don't have to produce anything tangible - about community service, social officers, cultural awareness, indigenous affairs, women's representatives etc etc etc.

I like my government small, simple and not certainly not racist. Why should one particular community deserve a media intern to represent them and not another ? (I am definitely *NOT* advocating all communities be represented).

Why not have colour blind laws and the function of local government ought to be simple - collect the garbage, sweep the streets, provide road lights and maintain the roads. Roll back the thousands of public servants who earn money but don't satisfy market demand for anything.