Vox Media acknowledges that 'there were stronger steps the company should have taken' to investigate harassment allegations

Vox Media acknowledged that it should have more vigorously investigated internal allegations of sexual harassment against its former editorial director Lockhart Steele.

Steele was fired last month following an investigation into claims of harassment against Steele.

In a note sent to employees on Thursday that was obtained by Business Insider, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff said the internal investigation found “more than one person experienced behaviour from Lockhart Steele that was inappropriate and unacceptable.”

“The behaviour clearly crossed the line of professionalism and violated company policy against sexual harassment,” Bankoff said.

The note added further that chief legal officer Lauren Fisher conducted a formal inquiry after she was alerted to “concerns regarding inappropriate behaviour” in April 2016. Fisher took steps to stop the situation, but Bankoff acknowledged it should have done more.

“As a result of that inquiry, Lauren took corrective actions with Lock, doing what she felt she could at the time to protect the broader community while also protecting the anonymity of those who came forward,” Bankoff said.

“In hindsight, there were stronger steps the company should have taken to investigate more vigorously while also looking out for those who were brave enough to come forward to share information.”

Steele is one of top several media figures accused of harassment who have left their posts in recent weeks following revelations of years-old harassment.

NPR senior news Vice President Michael Orezkes, veteran journalist Mark Halperin, and New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish have all faced numerous accusations of years of sexual harassment.

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