To indicate that she is really serious in her desire to become a director of Fairfax Media, Australia's richest woman threatened to sell her 19 per cent stake in the company unless its board makes her a director.
Police officials swooped down on the Melbourne office of The Age, owned and operated by Fairfax Media, following allegations that one story ran by the newspaper utilised information hacked from sensitive files kept by the Australian Labor Party.
Ms Rinehart, whose unauthorised biography by journalist Adele Ferguson will be released Tuesday, June 26, had earlier attempted to buy her way into the media firm's boardroom by using her billions of dollars to up her stake in the company by 6 per cent from 13 per cent.
When that strategy failed to work because the board was wary that she would use her position to influence editorial policy, she now shifted to warning of disposing her shares in the company. The mining magnate, who recently became the world's richest woman, said in a statement that she hopes the Fairfax board would view her "as a successful business person and a necessary 'white knight.'"
Ms Rinehart told ABC in written responses that the director positions must be given without unsuitable conditions, referring to a requirement from the board that she must not meddle in editorial policy and would not file lawsuits against the directors for the apparent poor decisions they made which led to the company hemorrhaging financially.
Ms Rinehart disclosed that she started to purchase Fairfax shares after she observed the dwindling circulation of the media firm's three largest mastheads the past five years and stock value plummeting by 90 per cent.
She also upped her demand to be given three board seats, be appointed deputy chair and the power to hire and fire editors.
The Australian reported that Fairfax Chairman Roger Corbett had communicated with executives of Hancock Prospecting, which Ms Rinehart owns, to discuss a possible agreement on giving her two seats in the Fairfax board.
Michael Yabsley, a former adviser to Ms Rinehart, opined that the reason the billionaire bought shares in the media firm is to have more influence over coverage of key issues such as taxes and climate change.
"I have absolutely no doubt that she wants influence.... It has been evident from her very younger years, and it's been evident in a lot of what her father (Lang Hancock) had to say, that the Australian media does not carry the message, or does not carry the right message."
Rupert Murdoch, the publisher of The Australian, said in a tweet that he is aware of the growing Ginaphobia among some groups, but he asked if such fear should warrant banning a person from buying in or setting up her own newspaper. He was referring to legislative proposals to curb Ms Rinehart's apparent growing influence on media.
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