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Associated Press Begins Review of Social Media Policy

The Associated Press has began a evaluate of its social media coverage after greater than 150 employees members publicly condemned the firing of a younger journalist who was focused on-line, apparently as a result of of her activism in school.

In a memo to its international newsrooms on Monday, The A.P.’s high editors mentioned they’d heard the issues from many journalists over the weekend and have been “committed to expanding the conversation taking place about A.P.’s approach to social media.”

The information company confronted a backlash after Emily Wilder, a 22-year-old information affiliate who had joined the company in Arizona, was dismissed on May 19, three weeks after she was employed, for violating the company’s social media coverage.

Ms. Wilder, who graduated from Stanford University in 2020 and had labored at The Arizona Republic, mentioned in a statement on Friday that she had been the topic of a marketing campaign by Stanford College Republicans, whose social media posts drew consideration to her pro-Palestine activism on the college. She added that her editors had reassured her she wouldn’t be fired for her previous advocacy work.

“Less than 48 hours later, The A.P. fired me,” she mentioned. “The reason given was my supposed violations of The A.P.’s social media policy sometime between my first day and Wednesday. In that interim, powerful conservatives like Senator Tom Cotton, Ben Shapiro and Robert Spencer repeatedly lambasted me online. When I asked my managers which exact tweets were in violation of policy or how, they refused to tell me.”

Ms. Wilder, who’s Jewish, had tweeted throughout her time at The A.P. in regards to the battle involving Israelis and Palestinians. In one tweet, she mentioned that “using ‘israel’ but never ‘palestine,’ or ‘war’ but not ‘siege and occupation’ are political choices — yet media make those exact choices all the time without being flagged as biased.”

Dozens of A.P. journalists signed an open letter after Ms. Wilder’s firing, criticizing the information company and asking for clarification on how she had violated the company’s social media coverage.

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“The lack of clarity on the violations of the social media policy has made A.P. journalists afraid to engage on social media — often critical to our jobs — in any capacity,” the letter mentioned.

Ten newsroom leaders responded Monday in a memo to the employees asserting a plan to evaluate its tips. They mentioned that formal teams would talk about concepts and make suggestions, and a committee of employees members would evaluate the suggestions by Sept. 1. Any modifications to the coverage would then be raised within the subsequent spherical of contract negotiations with the union that represents A.P. workers, the News Media Guild.

“One of the issues brought forward in recent days is the belief that restrictions on social media prevent you from being your true self, and that this disproportionately harms journalists of color, L.G.B.T.Q. journalists and others who often feel attacked online,” the memo mentioned.

The editors mentioned within the be aware that “much of the coverage” of Ms. Wilder’s dismissal “does not accurately portray a difficult decision that we did not make lightly.”

Lauren Easton, a spokeswoman for The A.P., mentioned the company typically shunned commenting on personnel, however confirmed that Ms. Wilder was dismissed for violating the social media coverage.

“We understand that other news organizations may not have made the same decision,” she mentioned. “While many news organizations offer points of view, opinion columnists and editorials, A.P. does not. We don’t express opinion. Our bedrock is fact-based, unbiased reporting.”