Fairfax Journalist Simon Johanson has been exposed for accepting financial payments in exchange for ‘allegedly writing false as well as deceptive articles to attack a competitor’. Moreover, he is allegedly under investigation by the Press Council.
It is believed that a Fairfax journalist, Simon Johanson who writes for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald has been receiving financial payments totalling up to tens of thousands of dollars for allegedly attacking competitors by publishing misleading articles.
The Australian National Review has also discovered that both he and Fairfax have been reported to the Press Council and are apparently under investigation over the matter.
It is also believed the journalist has been writing articles as favours for friends to defame their competitors’ companies particularly in competing land developments for a while now. Despite Fairfax being informed of the deliberate false articles, they have refused to retract them.
It’s been discovered that he is facing legal action over his continued ‘allegedly false and deceptive articles and there is a push for journalists like him to be sacked for bringing journalism into disrepute’.
When asked to comment on the story no comment was received by Johanson.
Fairfax Media also failed to comment.
One individual with media knowledge who asked to remain anonymous says “planting of stories by journalists to defame companies’ competitors are not uncommon at all”.
He said “they do it as a favour for buddies or even for financial payments. Moreover, newspaper companies will allegedly do it as a favour to companies that are advertising with them in order to tarnish their competitors”.
He went on to explain:
“Anyone who takes what is written in mainstream newspapers in Australia as honest journalism is clearly being misled.
“They are large corporations that receive huge financial inducements to push agendas and target to attempt character assassination at anyone who dares to threaten or expose them or their important advertisers”.
Former Fairfax Media major shareholder Gina Rinehart recently sold her shares at Fairfax after stating she no longer believed their management had the ability to lead the company into the future. Ms. Rinehart mentioned that the proud former mastheads such as The Age and Sydney Morning Herald had lost their quality standards of journalism.
It’s been suggested that both The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, due to rapid declines in readership could cease to exist in print form in less than five years.
It’s not known how scandals such as this one will speed up the demise of what once was the standard in quality journalism.