A top Associated Press editor defended the outlet’s decision to fire a reporter over pro-Palestinian tweets, The Hill reports.
The AP fired Arizona reporter Emily Wilder about two weeks after hiring her. The firing came amid a right-wing smear campaign over her past as a pro-Palestinian college activist.
AP Managing Editor Brian Carovillano told CNN on Sunday that Wilder, who is Jewish, was fired because she showed “clear bias” with her tweets "toward one side and against another in one of the most divisive and difficult stories we cover."
"It's really important that we maintain our credibility on these stories," Carovillano said. "Journalists' safety is at stake and the AP's credibility is at stake. Our credibility is constantly under attack. Our social media guidelines exist to protect that credibility, because protecting our credibility is the same as protecting journalists."
Editor dismisses right-wing pressure:
Carovillano denied that the campaign by the Stanford College Republicans over her activism had anything to do with Wilder’s firing.
“You know, this is the Associated Press, so anyone who thinks that the AP would be cowed by the College Republicans does not know very much about the AP,” he said.
Wilder said that she disclosed her previous activism to the AP and editors “reassured me I would not face punishment... I was told my editors were only hoping to support me as I received an onslaught of sexist, antisemitic, racist and violent comments and messages."
Over 100 AP staffers sent an open letter to management criticizing the handling of the matter and "its dayslong silence internally."
"We strongly disapprove," the letter read. "We demand more clarity from the company about why Wilder was fired. It remains unclear—to Wilder herself as well as staff at large—how she violated the social media policy while employed by the AP."