Property site Domain has sacked one of its reporters and issued an apology after the junior journalist was caught fabricating quotes on possibly hundreds of stories on the real estate listing site.
According to reports on Nine’s The Sydney Morning Herald this morning, the journalist, Kate Bartels, was first caught fabricating quotes from a Melbourne-based clinical psychologist, Dr Sarah Barker.
Barker revealed she was never interviewed for the articles and Domain issued an apology to her late last week.
However, a further investigation by Domain bosses has apparently revealed “multiple other incidents of fabricated quotes or interviews written by the reporter”.
Domain has announced it has taken down “hundreds of articles written by Bartels… until the investigation is complete.”
Bartels – whose profile has been removed from the website – reportedly also fabricated articles that appeared in Domain’s print liftout.
Nine has a 54 per cent share in Domain.
Yesterday, Domain editorial director Adrian Lowe published an apology on The Age and The SMH websites.
You can read the apology in full here.
Lowe said: “Unfortunately, we have discovered we did not meet the high standards we expect of ourselves. We owe you an apology.
“We were recently alerted that two lifestyle articles misrepresented someone as a source. When this became clear, we removed these articles and the journalist involved has since left Domain.
“Unfortunately, it soon became clear that this was not an isolated incident and the journalist had in fact misrepresented other people and their professions.
For this, we are sorry. We have since commenced a full investigation into all of the journalist’s work. We are committed to investigating this matter and setting the record straight,” the apology read.
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