An email sent from Jón Ásgeir, the primary owner of media corporation 365, asking Ara Edwalds, director of 365, to fire a journalist who had mocked Jón Ásgeir on the Internet, was made public yesterday on DV.is.
The journalist, Atli Fannar Bjarkason, provoked Jón Ásgeir by starting a Facebook group to raise money for the media giant because he was jokingly worried about his financial situation.
The day after the Facebook fund was started, on September 12, 2009, Jón Ásgeir sent the following email to Ara Edwalds:
I ask that this employee be let go now and he will not work for any of my companies. He can be clever and make news stories wherever he wants and mock me however he wants, but I am not going to pay him a salary for that no way.
Later that day, Jón Ásgeir’s wife, Ingibjörg Stefanía Pálmadóttir, sent an email to Jón Ásgeir, Ara Edwalds, and Fréttablaðið’s editor at the time, Jón Kaldal, also asking that the journalist be fired. She said the following:
I agree with this. He probably wants to be fired. He’ll get attention. It’s interesting that a newly hired journalist acts this way and it tells me that he is not a journalist that takes his position seriously.
Four months after refusing Jón Ásgeir’s request, Fréttablaðið’s editor at the time, Jón Kaldal, was fired.
Iceland’s media conglomerate, 365, owns multiple TV stations, radio stations, and magazines, as well as Iceland’s most widely read newspaper, Fréttablaðið, and corresponding news site, vísir.is.