Australian editor suspended over Facebook comments
An Australian newspaper editor was suspended Friday for reportedly saying the killing of a policeman would lift circulation, writing on his Facebook site he would "make the most" of the tragedy.
Matt Nicholls, who became editor of the regional Glen Innes Examiner just three weeks ago, allegedly made the comments on the social networking site after Glen Innes-raised Constable Bill Crews was shot dead in a drug raid.
Crews's father is a retired policeman and his mother works as a pre-school teacher in the close-knit Glen Innes community in the far north of New South Wales state, some 450 kilometres (280 miles) north of Sydney.
According to the ABC broadcaster, Nicholls had boasted on his Facebook page that he would capitalise on the policeman's death in Sydney to drum up sales of his newspaper.
One of his posts read "there's nothing better than a death to lift circulation", the Australian Associated Press reported.
Fairfax Media, which owns the Glen Innes Examiner, refused to confirm the wording of the comments but apologised for the remarks as it suspended the 23-year-old editor and launched an investigation.
"The actions of Matt Nicholls were totally unacceptable and we deeply regret any hurt caused to the family and friends of Constable Bill Crews and the Glen Innes community," chief executive of regional publishing Allan Browne said.
"Mr Nicholls has been stood down from his position as editor, effective immediately."