Associated Press admits fault in firing of journalist targeted by conservatives: report
The Associated Press admitted to making mistakes over its firing of reporter Emily Wilder, who was targeted by conservatives for her college activism.
The news outlet held a town hall on Wednesday, according to The Washington Post, which obtained an audio recording of the meeting.
Brian Carovillano, managing editor of the AP, remarked that the mistakes were “mistakes of process, and not of outcome,” according to the Post.
Carovillano said Wilder was given special training for social media after the company deemed past tweets “borderline” inappropriate. Still, he said “we do need to be honest with ourselves and we need to admit that we’ve made some mistakes in the past week.”
The town hall came one week after Wilder was fired from the AP amid conservative backlash to her activism for Palestinian causes.
On May 17, the Stanford College Republicans posted tweets detailing her activism while she was a student at Stanford University two years ago. She was fired on May 19.
The AP originally declined to comment on the firing, but the news service later said Wilder was let go for tweets she made while on the job, not for her college activism.
However, Wilder later issued a statement on Twitter saying the AP never told her which tweets violated policies. She further suggested that the AP caved to pressure from the right to fire her.
More than 100 AP staffers signed an open letter on Monday demanding to know why she was fired. The staffers also voiced concerns that the news service would not support them if they were targeted with a smear attack.
“As journalists who cover contentious subjects, we are often the target of people unhappy with scrutiny,” the reporters wrote. “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.”
During the town hall, executives addressed the concerns of the staffers, according to the Post. Deputy Managing Editor Amanda Barrett said “we want to acknowledge that we made missteps in handling this crisis.”
“Please know that the AP will protect you. We’ll have your back when you face threats online.”
The Hill has reached out to the AP for comment.
— Updated on May 27 at 10:14 a.m.