Caleb Bond, the 17-year-old opinion writer for the News Corp tabloids who is the editorial love-child of Miranda Devine and Andrew Bolt, has been given a job as a journalism cadet, causing ructions in the newsrooms where he is supposed to be working.
Telum Media reports that Bond has started as a cadet for the Eastern Courier Messenger, which covers the eastern suburbs of Adelaide. The pubescent columnist has been writing opinion pieces for The Daily Telegraph and The Adelaide Advertiser and also regularly appears on 6PR radio in Perth, where he is known for his conservative views.
Crikey hears that Bond’s appointment has not gone down well at News Corp’s offices in Adelaide, with a staff meeting getting “kind of heated” over the decision to hire the columnist ahead of university graduates, former interns and casual employees. We hear the decision came from as high up as SA, WA, NT and Tasmania editorial director Melvin Mansell.
Newspapers used to take on cadets straight out of high school, but in recent times media organisations have been reluctant to hire even cadets with university degrees, and some with the title “cadet” have actually been working casually in the industry for years.
Bond’s editorials cover issues as broad as “Why don’t feminists fight Muslim sexism?” and “Being conservative doesn’t turn you into Satan“. We wonder how “Why local councils are a complete nonsense” will go down when he needs to turn up to the local mayor opening a public event. Bond does have a way with words, but how will he go when it comes to writing about where to avoid getting swooped by a magpie or the local footy results?
In an interview with Vice Australia last year, Bond was asked about his political aspirations, and he replied that he didn’t want to get caught up in the “dirty game”. “I’m not sure I’m cut out for toeing a party line either. I tend to have my own view and think it’s best. The idea of having to sing to someone else’s songbook doesn’t really appeal to me.”
If the more experienced journos at the Addy are worried about Bond’s shorthand skills, he told Vice: “I have a fascination with fountain pens. These days, with computers, you write less and less, so I firmly believe that when you do write it should be an experience, not a task. I often go to the various auctions around Adelaide to pick up fountain pens for a bargain. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it amuses me. Parkers are my favorites but I’ve also been using a Jinhao X450 for quite a while. Some cheap Chinese thing for $5 on eBay. It’s superb value for money.”