Alice Riatt

When I started in media just under five years ago, my team sat around the table at a pub in Southbank not far from the office. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed it was a treat to leave early and debrief from the week that had been. Between office gossip and infamous stories from the ‘good old days’ the name Roy Morgan was thrown about.

‘Did you see that meme he posted the other day about lunch & learns?’, ‘Or what about the one about execs at publisher drinks?’. I had not, diligently I too requested friendship over

Facebook to feel on the inside of the industry jokes.

Still learning to navigate the world of media, I had felt seen by Roy Morgan. What at times might have felt overwhelming was made light of and the thoughts I had about my job and future career were understood by others, I was not alone.

Everyone claims to know the man behind the account. A mate from Sydney, an ex-colleague who always had the office in stitches or the quiet one that would never raise suspicion which made them particularly suspicious. I’m yet to see any solid proof and I guess to me it never really mattered who he was because in many ways he was all of us.

He wasn’t just good for he’s satirical value, he was an advocate too. Open letters via B&T to industry leaders asking them to save this industry’s young talent from the immense pressure that works them to the bone through a race to the bottom. Discussing his own battle with mental health and the commonality of it in our very field.

We needed Roy Morgan, not only to give us something to smile at as we quickly checked our phones between updating media plans but also to be the voice of the industry’s future generations that weren’t always heard.

But, where is he now?

As I write this in May 2023, the last we heard of him was in September 2022. That’s right, we were not graced with a meme about the JCDecaux Christmas hams last year.

It makes me wonder if he is still even here. Did he, like many others, get tempted to leave the industry after a harsh three years of covid? Has he moved up the ranks? No longer forever young and unable to be the voice we need.

Maybe he’s still amongst us and it is us that has left him. Facebook now feels like a graveyard of people you knew in high school, a person you met on the dance floor of a bar and your opinionated aunt from interstate. Youth social media consumption lives less on Meta now and I can imagine it would be hard to maintain an anonymous satirical account on TikTok. Did the likes dwindle and posting no longer feel like an open dialogue?

Perhaps we’ve changed and this genre of meme is no longer relevant. With hybrid working, office culture isn’t the same as it was in 2018. Has the collective understanding of what it means to work in media been fragmented with many of our junior staff having not experienced full-time office life?

This isn’t a demand for him to come back, heavy is the head that wears the crown. But if not him, then who? Roy Morgan made it easier for me to stay in the industry and I want the young bright talent who have come after me, and then those who will come after them to feel like they are seen too.

Is it now our turn to be our own Roy Morgan? To ask our leaders for more, to laugh through the pain and to bring each other closer together. After all, he is a part of all of us. 

This article originally appeared on Mumbrella.