OLD Media Moves

Where will China reporter Mike Forsythe land?

November 21, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Michael Forsythe, the former Bloomberg News reporter who left the organization earlier this week after he was suspended for allegedly leaking that the company wasn’t publishing sensitive stories in China, is now looking for another job.

And it appears that the New York Times is the frontrunner for his services.

Editors at the Times would not comment, and all Forsythe would say when contacted by Talking Biz News is “I am unemployed. I am looking for a job and talking to lots of people.”

But the Times makes sense. It is the only news organization left in China that has been doing the hard-hitting journalism investigating the financial connections and business dealings of the country’s leaders that Bloomberg had been publishing until recently. For example, the Times recently published this story about JP Morgan’s relationship with the daughter of a former Chinese prime minister.

Chinese media organizations such as Caixin, a hard-hitting business magazine, would be unlikely to hire Forsythe because the stories he would write would likely be censored, and the Chinese government would likely prevent his hiring.

But foreign-based media organizations, such as the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal, could be a fit for Forsythe, currently based in Hong Kong, because they often produce hard-hitting stories about China. Reuters might be an option, but the financial wire recently announced that it was cutting 5 percent of its editorial jobs.

Forsythe, who is proficient in Mandarin, was the lead writer when Bloomberg won the Polk Award (among many other awards) for documenting the wealth of relatives of Xi Jinping, the current president of China.

Some expressed concerns that Forsythe might have legal trouble being hired by another news organization, but a person familiar with media and human resources law told Talking Biz News there should be no issues with anyone wanting to hire the journalist.

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