Elizabeth Farrelly Departs The SMH After 30 Years Following A “Ruthless King Hit”

Elizabeth Farrelly Departs The SMH After 30 Years Following A “Ruthless King Hit”

Sydney Morning Herald  columnist Elizabeth Farrelly’s more than three-decade stint with the publishers has come to a somewhat dramatic end.

As reported by the Herald itself, Farrelly will no longer publish a regular urban design and architecture column after she failed to disclose her registration as a candidate for the Labor Party in the Strathfield local elections last week.

This political move by Farrelly also happened to coincide with a piece she wrote that criticised Liberal and independent councillors in the electorate.

Subsequently, in light of those revelations, an editor’s note has now declared her registration which was added to the piece last Friday.

Farrelly announced her departure and in a long post on Facebook stating, “Today, after a working relationship lasting more than three decades, my time with the Sydney Morning Herald came to an abrupt end.”

“According to the five-minute out-of-the-blue phone call I received from the new editor on the other side of the world, this termination is due to an apparent lack of transparency on my part.”

She went on to claim that her punishment was “grossly disproportionate,” before eventually conceding that her lack of transparency was an “oversight.”

Farrelly said that she joined the ALP in the middle of the year but maintained that “there was no undisclosed conflict of interest of which my readers should have been made aware”.

Farrelly’s political affiliation became apparent in recent months when it was reported that then NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay was considering Farrelly as her replacement in Strathfield.

Commenting on her departure, SMH editor Bevan Shields said: “The Herald is determined to extend its coverage of urban design and architecture, and this will include new voices in our opinion pages in 2022.”

“Elizabeth’s registration as a Labor candidate should have been disclosed to us and our readers.”

“Her registration makes future contributions very difficult given the close connection between urban development and politics.”

Farrelly concluded her message on a hopeful note but did also take aim at the decision behind her termination, “I’d be dishonest not to admit that this new change in direction scares me to death.”

“On the other hand, it’s time for a change and I am determined to transform the Herald’s ruthless king-hit into a new opportunity.”



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