The Age editor Mark Forbes suspended over harassment claim

10:45am UPDATE: The Age editor Mark Forbes resigns amid harassment claims

The editor of one of Australia’s oldest and most respected newspapers has been suspended over what is reported to be an allegation of sexual harassment of a junior colleague.

Mark Forbes, who became editor-in-chief of Melbourne newspaper The Age in April, has been stood down, a spokesman for publisher Fairfax Media confirmed to Mumbrella.


Forbes: Less than a year into his editor-in-chief role | Pic: Supplied by Fairfax Media

The spokesman said: “Mark Forbes has been stood down pending the outcome of an investigation that is underway. Fairfax is committed to a safe workplace and has zero tolerance for any behaviour that does not meet the highest standards. Alex Lavelle, editor of The Age, will oversee the newsroom.”


The Guardian reports that the alleged incident took place at the The Age Music Victoria Awards last month. According to The Guardian, a young female reporter later made a complaint about his behaviour towards her.

Forbes has had a lengthy career in some of Australia’s most celebrated journalism outlets including The ABC’s Four Corners. He has also won a number of awards for investigative journalism.


He stepped up as editor-in-chief at The Age at the beginning of April. His previous duties with Fairfax Media included news director of The Age and editor of The Sunday Age.

Forbes is not the first journalist to be suspended by Fairfax Media this year. Sydney Morning Herald columnist Paul Sheehan was suspended after a controversial article in which he alleged a woman had been gang raped by men of Middle Eastern origin and that police had failed to investigate. It later emerged that the claims were untrue and Sheehan had not made any checks. He later left the company.

December 5 update: Mumbrella understands that a second female journalist made a complaint to Fairfax over the weekend relating to a conversation she had with Forbes at a social function in February 2016 when he was news director.


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