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ST Chief Editor on his editors having affairs with intern: Don’t believe everything you read online

TOC first broke the news yesterday (3 Oct) that one of the ST editors, Marc Lim, allegedly had an affair with an intern and as a result, was demoted by SPH.

"TOC understands that Mr Lim has been removed from editorial functions and will not have any more supervisory roles in his current capacity. He has also been demoted two levels as a result of the COI investigation," TOC reported.

TOC also reported that the intern "had purportedly to have attempted suicide after her boyfriend confronted her on the affair" and that it understands the police is looking into the matter.

Furthermore, TOC reached out to SPH for comments on the matter and their head of communications Ms Chin Soo Fang responded back, saying they are "looking into TOC's queries".

SPH later wrote back confirming that it had convened an internal inquiry after a member of its staff from The Straits Times newsroom was hospitalized last week, presumably because of the suicide attempt.

SPH also revealed that, in fact, not 1 but 2 editors were involved with the intern, and that it has found sufficient grounds to conclude that the two editors concerned had breached SPH's code of conduct.

In the SPH's official reply, it said, "SPH takes a serious view of any transgressions of its code of conduct for its staff and will not hesitate to take appropriate measures following a full and transparent inquiry process."

ST Editor-in-Chief pours cold water over online news reports on the matter

Today (4 Oct), ST was forced to publicly acknowledge and publish news of ST censuring its 2 editors for breaching the company's code of conduct.

ST reported, "Two editors from the Straits Times newsroom have been slapped with disciplinary measures following an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct."

"The SPH human resources-appointed panel looked into allegations made of two separate instances during which two ST editors had improper relations with a subordinate member of staff. It found sufficient grounds to conclude that the two editors concerned had breached SPH's code of conduct," it added.

"The two face disciplinary action, commensurate with the seriousness of their actions."

ST Editor-in-Chief Warren Fernandez then conducted a town hall meeting with his staff. He told his staff that "as far as he knew, the police were not investigating the matter".

"We want to make clear that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable in the ST newsroom. This is not who we are, or who we want to be," he said. He also added that the 2 editors involved "had done good work in the ST newsroom" and as such, SPH will not dismiss them.

When asked about online reports on the matter, Mr Fernandez replied that a fair bit of this seemed to be divorced from the facts.

"It's best not to speculate, or believe everything you read online. Right now, our main concern is to help our colleague recover, and hopefully return to the newsroom when she is ready," he told his staff.

TOC subsequently published a follow-up article revealing that in addition to ST editor Marc Lim, another editor Daryl Chin was also involved. It also responded to what Mr Fernandez said.

"TOC notes that as it is a criminal offence for one to attempt suicide, the police would be looking into the circumstance of the matter and not the alleged affair," TOC responded.

Indeed, according to the Penal Code section 309, at present, it is an offence for one to attempt to commit suicide: