Aussie newsreader stood down after blooper goes viral

There was no hiding the surprise on the face of ABC News newsreader Natasha Exelby after she realised she was live on air, when she clearly thought she wasn't.

But her reaction may have been slightly different last night when she was informed she had been stood down as an anchor on the network.

The decision has shocked members of the media industry in Australia with messages of support flooding in from all networks as well the leader of the Labor party, Bill Shorten.

A petition to have Exelby's demotion reversed has been set-up on website Change.Org.

Other broadcasters have voiced their amazement at the decision.

Latika Bourke said her career would have ended at her first radio job if she was to have been held to the same standards as Exelby.

In the video that's now been seen hundreds of thousands of times, Exelby appears to be playing with a pen and is lost in deep thought before either a word in her ear, or a camera's live red light, alerted her to the fact the nation was watching.

It's not the first time Exelby's on-air composure has gone viral.

Before working at the ABC, Exelby was a newsreader on TEN's late news and it was there that her first newsreading faux pas took place.

A very poised and composed Exelby was ready to deliver the evenings headlines when the show's anchor threw her a curly question, and it was all downhill from there.