Oh, the olde dayes.When I first started at the national broadcaster there were a plethora of family connections among the staff.In fact whole families worked there.I well remember being introduced to one of my staff members as,”This is Warren, his sisters work in legal, his dad is head of Tech Services and his mum is PA to a senior manager”. Although I was slightly taken aback by this I began soon to realise the benign influence of family among the staff members of the broadcaster.In fact, it became quite a good way of connecting with people you didn’t know in other departments as the one degree of separation always lead to a new contact or a new insight into other ways of working. After a while this quiet nepotism became a normality and it would have stayed that way until the time came for all to change.
I think it all began some time in the 1990’s when the family businesses inside the broadcaster started to break apart as many retired, or left, or were transferred interstate and a new form of nepotism emerged. An insidious nepotism based purely on the friendships accumulated during the years you worked there.It was, and is, a not very kind form of nepotism because it is based grounded in one’s rise to success and the boundaries and loyalties are very thin indeed.Loyalty is to one self and not to the organisation.
I will also state here that this has become a stratified kind of nepotism where the most prominent friendships become a network of media management. The gripes and bitching echo across the corridors of influence.People are lied to, and about and also the rise to the top is paved with bad intentions disguised as good.The departmentalisation of the broadcaster has led to these soft boundaries being exploited by many in may different ways.People have been actively discriminated against in order for the neurotic growth of top-down management style. Media managers are, of course, no different from other managers but they do have one advantage in that they can exploit the cross-talk in such a way that can bury or even elevate personal favourites without anyone really knowing.
It is a cruel universe that is becoming more so as technology de-realises the human condition so that enumerating the value of people in deference to the techne has become a potent device for the nepotism of the elite friendship