Emily Wilder, Emily, Janine Zaccaria discussed on Democracy Now! Audio
Quote. We did not make it lightly referring to the decision the ap's executive editor. Sally busby did not sign the memo. She begins her new job next month as executive editor at the washington post. She's making history as the first woman. Executive editor of the washington post. She told npr she is quote handed over day to day operations at ap. So quote. I was not involved in the decision at all. Meanwhile journalists at the protested. Wilders firing and open letter. Monday writing quote. It is left our colleagues particularly emerging journalists wondering how we treat our own what culture we embrace and what values we truly spouse as a company unquote. For more we go to phoenix arizona to speak with. Emily wilder in her first television broadcast interview. We're also joined by janine zaccaria. Who was emily. Wilders journalism professor at stanford university. She's the former jerusalem bureau chief for the washington post. We welcome you both to democracy now emily. Why don't you just take us through what happened to you absolutely first of all. Thank you so much for having me last monday. A group from my alma mater the stanford republicans began to post online past posted. I made on social media in an attempt to expose my history of activism for costing human rights while i was an undergraduate at stanford university and in an attempt to link a p to hamas in the next two days. Ibm's receive a lot of harassment Harassment as well as a prominent republicans on the internet Lamb meat including senator. Tom caught in and ben shapiro. I was reassured during this time. By my editors that i would not face repercussions for my past activism in that they just want to support me while i was facing the smear campaign less than forty eight hours after zampa college republicans began to post about me. I was fired reason. Given was a supposes social media violation. Sometime after i joined a p on may third i was not even an explanation. For what social media policy is violated or tweet head violent policy and i still have not received an exclamation and emily when when you originally hired. What were you told by the associated press of what it social media policy was for for its reporters. I was told puertas must not share. Opinions online must not bias in coverage. And you were covering. What were you covering while you were at the. Ap i was hired as a news associate on the west desk which covers the western united states. Fourteen states not united states and my position is not actually reporting position it was an entry level kind of apprenticeship editorial and production apprenticeship in. So i was. I was concerned with assisting coverage on the in the western united states. So it affect. Why would why would these folks at stanford or argue. It seems it seems. Almost nonsensical would go after you in this in this concerted in a campaign like manner. Well there's of all this is this is not my first encounter with this group They during my time at stanford they built a reputation as kind of bullies antagonize. Really any student. They disagreed with it. I was in their crosshairs more than once so they knew my name. I guess they do not forget about me. And i can't say for certain why they did what they did. But perhaps they learned that. I had joined the national news organization at a moment that news organization under public scrutiny and they took it as an opportunity to both smear me and smear the associated press on monday the union representing washington post reporters now. Of course. Emily was working for the but the union representing washington post. Reporters tweeted quote solidarity with the staff of the p. Emily wilder we hope. Management provides swift answers on her termination and clarifies. The newsroom social media practices on quote the ap said in a memo to staff monday. It plans to review its social media policies now. This significance of the washington. Post writers union expressing solidarity. is that sally busby. The executive editor of a p is going to become the first woman executive editor of the washington post beginning in june. Which brings us to our next guest. Janine zaccaria professor at stanford university who taught emily wilder. You were the washington. Post's jer bureau chief in jerusalem. Is that right about a decade ago. That's correct so. Can you talk about this controversy. So i wanna speak on about it on two levels. I wanna speak. Personally as emily's instructor at stamford what has been like. And then i want to speak in the macro but what i think is really happening here so personally. I want to say that when. Emily called me to tell me that she had been fired by the i literally was shocked. I was really shocked. Because i really didn't know what to say. I said i said to emily. Close your laptop. I need to call you back. Because i really need to think about what's happening here. What we're gonna do. And how am i going to help. My brilliant former student continue with a career in journalism. Because yes i spent most of my career close to two decades reporting on the israeli palestinian conflict started my career as a young woman in jerusalem in an earlier. Incarnation the ninety s for reuters. So i am very aware. Perhaps more the most to the sensitivities of around the questions of bias and reporting on the conflict nevertheless as was mentioned in this case it wasn't about bias and it wasn't even about social media policies. Because if you review what. Emily posted said she started at the. Ap there was one tweet. That mentioned a a a mild opinion about the question of objectivity and on reporting on the conflict in the language we use and Editor could have come to her and said i think you should take down that tweet because it expresses an opinion in violation of our social media. Policies doesn't mean you can't have these opinions but you can't broadcast them on social media. But i think the bigger issue in this case. If you read the letter of dismissal was that it mentions you cannot have any conflict that could be perceived as as as a bias or leading to accusations of bias. Something to that effect was the language and so when stanford college republicans documented some of her pro palestinian activism in college. I think they got a little spooked. Because it was in the context as emily mentioned of israel strike on the gaza bureau and hamas and people who wanted to defend that strike. We're trying to accused of knowingly sharing a building with a moslem demoss rules that gaza strip for fifteen years. they're everywhere and and this was. This was a way to feet continue to fuel that narrative. Look you hired this news associate. Who has pro palestinian views and so it really really was a full-on disinformation campaign. Not only emily but the ap these are actors who are not interested in having a serious conversation about how we cover the israeli palestinian conflict. They want to take down credible face.