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World

AP fires employee over pro-Palestine views

  • Agency cites violation of company’s ‘social media policies’.
  • Outcry among journalism community.
Published May 22, 2021
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The Associated Press (AP) has reportedly fired a news associate for “violating the company’s social media policies”, a development that caused outcry in the journalism community after it became clear that Emily Wilder had been targeted at her pro-Palestinian stance on social media accounts.

Wilder, barely a little over 2 weeks into her job at the New York-based news agency, confirmed that she was “terminated for violating the company’s social media policies in their News Values and Principles sometime between my start date on May 3 and yesterday”, according to The Guardian. Wilder said the AP did not detail which of her tweets broke its policies.

A spokesperson for the Associated Press stated that while the organisation "refrains from commenting on personnel matters", it was confirmed that Emily Wilder was dismissed for "violations of AP’s social media policy" due to comments she made on Thursday.

After graduating from Stanford University, Wilder worked with the Arizona Republic newspaper, and over the past week conservative media outlets distributed screen-grabs of her prior Facebook posts in which she was vocally critical of Zionists.

Coverage of Wilder's activism gained momentum, with outlets including Fox News jumping into the fray, after which the Associated Press was targeted for its "objectivity issues".

Wilder, who is of Jewish descent, tweeted a total of 18 times during her tenure at the Associated Press, with most of her posts being re-tweets.

On the 16th of May, she wrote "'Objectivity’ feels fickle when the basic terms we use to report news implicitly stake a claim [...] Using ‘Israel’ but never ‘Palestine,’ or ‘war’ but not ‘siege and occupation’ are political choices – yet the media make those exact choices all the time without being flagged as biased".

The News Media Guild, the union that formally represents the Associated Press's editorial staff, stated that it was investigating Wilder's firing, adding that "The Guild asked if the comments that caused [Wilder’s] termination were posted before or after her hiring and awaits a response".

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