Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Over 100 AP staffers sign open letter condemning firing of Emily Wilder

Over 100 Associated Press employees signed onto an open letter Monday saying they "strongly disapprove" of how the organization handled the firing of Emily Wilder, a news associate who was targeted by conservative media for pro-Palestinian activism in college.

Why it matters: Wilder claims she was fired last week with little to no explanation, beyond generally violating the company's social media policy. The incident has prompted widespread backlash.


  • AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton would not share with the AP how Wilder had violated the outlet's social media policy.
  • The staffers who signed onto Monday's letter said the decision could harm the outlet's credibility on covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and demanded "more clarity" on why Wilder was fired.

Driving the news: In a Twitter post on May 17, the Stanford Republicans accused Wilder — who is Jewish — of being an "anti-Israel agitator" and "promoting the blood libel that Jews 'ethnically cleansed' Palestinians from the land of Judea and Sumeria." Wilder was fired two days later, per AP's reporting.

  • The AP said Wilder was fired for violating social media policies as an employee, but did not provide specifics. Employees are not allowed to share political views or opinions on other public issues in order to protect the outlet's reputation for objectivity.
  • After joining the AP, Wilder had retweeted a reporter's footage of a pro-Palestine protest, news footage of Israeli airstrikes, and a journalist's tweet that stated reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does readers a disservice if it lacks historical context.
  • She also retweeted a post detailing edits made to a New York Times headline on the conflict, which had removed mentions of Palestinians being evicted from their homes.

After her firing, Wilder said in a statement: "The compassion that drove my activism is part of what led me to be a reporter committed to just, critical, fact-based coverage of under-told stories."

  • "Now, after being fired after less than three weeks at my job, I have to ask what kind of message this sends to young people who are hoping to channel righteous indignation or passion for justice into impactful storytelling."

What they're saying: "Wilder was a young journalist, unnecessarily harmed by the AP’s handling and announcement of its firing of her," the staffers said in an open letter shared Monday morning.

  • "We need to know that the AP would stand behind and provide resources to journalists who are the subject of smear campaigns and online harassment."
  • "As journalists who cover contentious subjects, we are often the target of people unhappy with scrutiny. What happens when they orchestrate a smear campaign targeting another one of us? Interest groups are celebrating their victory and turning their sights on more AP journalists."
  • "They have routinely made journalists’ identities subject to attack. Once we decide to play this game on the terms of those acting in bad faith, we can’t win."

AP staffers said the lack of communication on Wilder's firing "gives us no confidence that any one of us couldn’t be next, sacrificed without explanation."

  • The staff is calling for clarity on which of Wilder's social media posts warranted termination and why, a forum on what AP deems best social media practices for journalists, and a diverse committee to update the AP's social media policy.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories