Schembri walked after Twitter sting. Age film critic and senior writer Jim Schembri has been sacked from his position following revelations he had repeatedly dobbed on the employers of his Twitter critics and hinted at taking legal action under the auspices of Fairfax Media. Crikey understands the buff met with Age editor Paul Ramadge this week after Crikey — and later The Australian — ran stories on the saga. An initial agreement to bring forward a pre-booked slab of leave to cool off appears to have been shelved, with Ramadge deciding instead to cut his losses.
Schembri is an Age veteran, starting at the paper in 1984 after previous stints as a copy boy for TV Week and New Idea. Sources inside The Age newsroom told Crikey this morning that Schembri had worn out his welcome with management after several public controversies, including last year’s “How I Punk’d the Twitterverse” scandal in which he reverse-engineered an elaborate ruse to explain a review that spoiled the ending of Scream 4. Rather than admit the error, Schembri penned a think piece for the paper’s storied Insight section explaining how he had set out — in advance — to confound his Twitter critics.