Former Fairfax contributor Clementine Ford blasts managers and editors

Controversial former Fairfax contributor Clementine Ford has attacked the publisher and said it is well and truly dead.

Ford revealed on Twitter she had resigned on Tuesday after being suspended for four weeks in September for calling the Prime Minister Scott Morrison a “fucking disgrace” on the social media network.

The then-Fairfax columnist’s September outburst came after Morrison posted a Twitter comment describing teachers counselling transgender children  as ‘gender whisperers’ in response to a Daily Telegraph story.

Morrison’s tweet was widely condemned by various media figures, including Fairfax cartoonist Cathy Wilcox, former Daily Telegraph education writer Maralyn Parker and ABC presenter Dom Knight.

Ford however was particularly scathing, calling the Prime Minister a “fucking disgrace.” The tweet was subsequently deleted.

Mumbrella understands Ford was subsequently disciplined by her editor for breaching Fairfax’s social media policy for contributors and her column suspended for four weeks.

The key part of the policy states:

The following conduct is not permitted by Contributors who are commissioned by Fairfax Media:

  • abusive language (with exceptions for news reports and retweets of newsworthy third party content),
  • harassing or bullying behaviour,
  • tweets or posts that are solely devoted to attacking a person (rather than a position or idea), and
  • retaliation in any of the above manners in response to rude, abusive, attacking, baiting or challenging social media posts or tweets.

Ford claimed in her Twitter thread she had been told that a “new policy was we ‘didn’t respect the office of the PM'” and an editor had told her “a memo had recently been circulated dictating the office the PM was not to be disrespected.”

The events happened before Nine’s formal acquisition of Fairfax in December last year.

Ford has accused the publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age of attempting to silence her criticism of the PM and caving into political and competitive pressures.

According to Ford, Fairfax’s managers were concerned The Australian was planning to publish a story on the company’s failure to act on her comments, which forced their hand in disciplining her.


Nine issued a brief statement in response from Monique Farmer, life editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, saying: “Clementine Ford has been a contributor for The Herald and The Age for the past seven years and we thank her for her work over that time.”

Last week, Ford’s column was cut to one a week. Mumbrella has contacted her for comment.


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