Crikey Editor Gets Indefinitely Benched After Heckling Outburst At The Walkleys

Crikey Editor Gets Indefinitely Benched After Heckling Outburst At The Walkleys

Crikey editor, Peter Fray has been placed on indefinite leave after heckling winners at The Walkley Awards.

The journalism awards were held at International Convention Center and saw the top Gold Walkley award go to ABC journalists Anne Connolly, Ali Russell and Stephanie Zillman.

However, when they went to give their speech, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Fray heckled, “what about Crikey?” Very Kanye of him.

Fray, who made a name for himself as an editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, also tweeted, “Crikey wins gold Walkley for ABC #walkley” and “Dear ABC, you are a fraud.” The tweets have since been deleted.

After ABC’s director of news and investigations, Justin Stevens, complained about his outcry and in response, Fray issued a formal apology and said: “I will use the period of leave to deeply reflect on my actions and seek appropriate assistance. I can’t undo my actions on that evening, as much as I wish to do so.

 “It was wrong for me to question the veracity of ABC’s work and the excellence of its journalism. For me to act the way I did was totally unwarranted, inappropriate, and out of character.”

Fray’s reaction is rumoured to stem from the fact that Russell, Zillman, and Connolly were recognised at the Walkley Awards for their work investigating the pubic guardian and trustee agencies that have authority over 50,000 Australians.

Interestingly, Crikey reporter Amber Schultz had also deep-dived into the same issues in 2021 and 2022 in a series called, “Kidnapped by the state.”

In a statement from Private Media CEO Will Hayward, said: “Following the events at The Walkley Awards last week, Peter Fray will be on indefinite leave from his role as managing editor of Privet Media and editor in chief of Crikey.

“Peter’s behaviour is unacceptable and does not reflect the standards we aspire to at our company.”

This comes as Crikey is in the midst of a legal battle with The Murdochs.

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