Exiting ABC star’s stunning dig at ‘bully’ Malcolm Turnbull
Journalist Emma Alberici and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have clashed on Twitter following Alberici's confirmation she has settled her legal battle with the ABC.
The former chief economics reporter and Lateline host had been at loggerheads with the national broadcaster's management for more than two years after her position was made redundant.
Alberici's lawyers had argued her forced departure after 18 years of service was instead a result of a desire to "get the government off its back" following several complaints from former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who Alberici today called a "bully".
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In a series of tweets on Friday, Alberici clarified a report in The Australian confirming the case in the Fair Work Commission had been settled, marking the end of her career with the broadcaster.
During the legal battle, Alberici's lawyers had accused the ABC of bowing down to personal complaints by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, The Australian reported.
According to the publication, a legal letter to ABC managing director David Anderson outlined news director Gaven Morris had told Alberici that the prime minister was constantly calling him to make complaints.
On Friday morning, Mr Turnbull weighed-in on the saga, refuting claims he had called Morris.
He had responded to a tweet containing a link to a New Daily article quoting documents which saw The Prime Minister's Office accuse Alberici of "interviewing only people who agree with her".
"The claim that I called Morris about Emma is denied both by me and the ABC," Mr Turnbull said, clarifying that he had made a complaint about a 2018 article because "it was full of errors" and "confused basic accounting concepts".
Responding to Turnbull's tweet, Alberici came out swinging, labelling him a "bully" and revealing he had sent "countless" letters to the ABC, which she called "unbecoming of a PM".
The claim that I called Morris about Emma is denied both by me and the ABC. As to her 14 Feb 2018 article on tax, it was full of errors, confused basic accounting concepts and was widely and publicly criticised including by me in the House. 1/2— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) August 20, 2020
Turnbull bit back: "Pointing out factual errors in a journalist's work is not bullying - and even more so when the errors were later acknowledged. It is a pity publication of your lawyer's letter revived this issue as it distracts from your many achievements. All the best for your next adventure."
Earlier, Alberici had taken to the platform to confirm she had "reached an agreement" with the ABC, concluding that her former boss Gaven Morris' actions had taken an "enormous toll" on her mental health.
She said she would be taking time to "look after herself and her family".
"It is true that the ABC & I reached an agreement yesterday," Ms Alberici tweeted.
Today’s story is all true but I don’t want my photo on the front page of the newspaper & yes, I turned down a role on the ABC News Channel. I was a journalist in the old fashioned way. I really liked being in the field & hearing other people’s stories 2/4— Emma Alberici (@albericie) August 20, 2020
"After 18 years of loyal service, including as one of the country's first mother foreign correspondents (with 3 kids under 3) I am no longer employed by them," she said.
"I have never coveted the camera," she said. "I will no longer be on TV & will not accept any role if it's offered."
Elsewhere, the high-profile journalist shared that it was "too painful" to remain in the public eye following the legal battle, adding that she had one regret from her 18-year ABC career.
"I didn't get a chance to say a proper goodbye to the colleagues who have become dear friends," she tweeted.
In response to her tweets, a number of ABC viewers flocked to support her:
Today, Twitter, is Emma Alberici's day. And I’m here for this.— Emily (@iamemilymayo) August 20, 2020
Originally published as 'Bully': Exiting ABC star's stunning dig
Instead, I was shocked to be nominated as redundant. The reason we haggled for days with the Fair Work Commission DP is that @gavmorris refused to allow my payout to be called “damages” 4/4— Emma Alberici (@albericie) August 20, 2020
Could we crowd source Emma Alberici to work exclusively for us?— Ewart Dave 🎺 (@davidbewart) August 21, 2020
I can't help but feel this is a crucial moment for our democracy.— Carrick Ryan (@realCarrickRyan) August 21, 2020
Whatever your opinion of Emma, a journalist has been silenced due to political pressure.
How will history remember this? https://t.co/qdD4mWekN4
Emma Alberici is one of the best journalists I've ever seen. What happens to accountability, & our ability to serve the community, if careers like hers - & others - are stymied or ended & we don't speak out like we would for attacks on how we report?A crying shame.Go well, Emma. https://t.co/q6OoiRnEWZ— Debbie Russell Groarke (@DebGroarke) August 21, 2020