Editorial independence is key -Aussie journalists tell media tycoon
AUSTRALIA: Australian media group Fairfax Wednesday said editorial
independence was at the core of its business, as mining mogul Gina
Rinehart pushes for more influence at the respected newspaper publisher.
Journalists at Fairfax Media, in the throes of a sweeping restructure
set to cost 1,900 jobs, have called on its biggest shareholder Rinehart
to respect its charter of independence amid fears about editorial
Rinehart's private company Hancock Prospecting Wednesday said it
supported journalistic independence but called for seats on the board of
Fairfax, publisher of mastheads such as The Sydney Morning Herald and
Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood said board positions were a
matter for the board, but members could not tell journalists what to
write. "If you're a board member editorial discussions are always held
within board meetings," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"What doesn't happen is it doesn't translate into board members
telling journalists what they should or shouldn't write, and that's our
"There's been a lot of speculation around editorial independence in
relation to Fairfax. That will always stay. That is the core of this
company." Rinehart, the world's richest woman, has said she hoped to be
considered a "white knight" by Fairfax as it faces falling advertising
revenues and newspaper circulation with readers switching to online
The Western Australia-based iron ore tycoon has hinted that she may
sell her stake if she is not handed board seats at Fairfax, which owns
newspaper, digital and radio assets.
Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting said Wednesday in a statement it
supports journalistic "integrity and accuracy" but argued that Fairfax
had overridden this principle in the past.