Bullied and bugged APN journo reveals identity

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More details and allegations have emerged about staff bullying and intimidation by executives of embattled regional media giant APN.

Last month, Independent Australia reported that employee morale had reached an all-time low at the foreign-owned diversified media conglomerate, which has seen several senior executives sacked and widespread redundancies at all levels of the operation.

It seems that in a bid to get more out of fewer staff, allegations have emerged of APN executives bugging staff cars to keep tabs on employees and engaging in campaigns of intimidation towards employees who step out of line.

APN is approximately 30% owned by Irish owned Independent News and Media, though they are currently trying desperately to offload the  asset. The group owns a string of newspaper and radio assets throughout Australia and New Zealand, including The Morning Bulletin in Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast Daily and the Toowoomba Chronicle.

IA can now reveal the name of the former APN journalist who wrote the stirring and sardonic six page letter to APN chair Peter Cosgrove included along with the article we published last month to be Doug Gillett.

Excerpt from the letter Doug Gillett sent to APN chair Peter Cosgrove. (Click here to read the full letter in PDF.)

The disgruntled employee revealed his name in a online petition he has created called 'Protect the privacy of employees', which has received close to 600 signatures.

When asked why he has now decided to reveal his real identity, Mr Gillett said:

‘I figure they can't have too many tricks left in terms of harassment and intimidation.’

Excerpt from Doug Gillet's online petition, which contains further details of his allegations. (Click here to access this petition.)

Following the publication of IA’s article, several other APN employees have come forward to support several of Mr Gillett’s allegations and general version of events. The following is an excerpt from a message received by a disgruntled current APN employee, who declined to reveal his name for obvious reasons:

I am writing in regards to the following article I stumbled across:

'APN executives bug staff cars and bully'. Read the scathing letter from an APN journo to APN chair Peter Cosgrove.

I am a current APN employee working at a regional site and this letter (brilliant) struck a chord. Well, it struck quite a lot.

This poor former employee has summed up so exceptionally well what this company is all about.

The mistreatment, exploitation and abuse of staff has to be experienced to be believed.

I want to reach out to this former employee and offer my support. Obviously you cannot provide their details.

I would like to add my voice to their courageous letter.

May I make an anonymous submission to complement what they have written?

Perhaps the former employee can be made aware of this or may even see it himself in due course.

I am so outraged at how APN treats its staff I feel compelled to add my voice exposing the extent of worker abuse and mistreatment.

Heartless, ruthless and lacking in the most basic respect, APN is overflowing with miserable workers who feel trapped and bitterly disappointed their dream of working in the media has turned into a full-blown nightmare.

I spent each day regretting my decision to enter this company and question just what the future will hold.

And with yet another round of cuts to editorial resources pending for already strained newsrooms on the edge of breaking, I spend each day wondering where the axe will fall and how those left behind will keep it together.

IA contacted APN for comment, but at time of publication no response had yet been received.

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