The Bloomberg journalist who wrote a controversial spiked story about connections between Chinese billionaires and powerful government officials has been suspended, and will likely lose his job, for leaking the newsroom tumult story to other outlets
Last week, news broke that Bloomberg editors allegedly killed a story about a Chinese billionaire with ties to some top government officials after the story passed through an extensive editing process over fears the company would be kicked out of the country, and it would put the company's lucrative monitor business at risk. Emails between editors were leaked to the Financial Times. Bloomberg editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler continually insisted the stories were still in the pipe and waiting to be published.
Over the weekend, the New York Post and The New York Times reported Michael Forsthye, one of the reporters who worked on the controversial story, was suspended without pay and escorted from Bloomberg offices in Hong Kong this week. After leaks of discord in the Bloomberg newsroom, it appears editors and executives hunted for the source of the leak. Per the Times:
Last week, after those reports of the accusations of self-censorship were published, reporters and editors in the Bloomberg bureau in Hong Kong who had worked on the unpublished article were called into a series of meetings, Bloomberg employees said. They were asked questions about the news reports face to face and through conference calls with top editors and executives based in Hong Kong and New York, the employees said.
After the long, extensive search Forsythe was apparently fingered as the source of the leak.
But the already-shaky Hong Kong newsroom will go through even more changes soon. The Post reports layoffs will strike staff this week. As many as 50 to 100 staffers in Hong Kong will be let go, potentially as early as Monday.