Washington Post fires reporter in center of online battle

ByJosephine J. Romero

Jun 11, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Washington Publish has fired Felicia Sonmez, who triggered a vigorous on the net debate this 7 days about social media coverage and general public therapy of colleagues right after she criticized a fellow reporter for retweeting an offensive joke.

The Publish reported Friday it would not remark on personnel problems. But a duplicate of a termination letter despatched Thursday, accusing her of “insubordination, maligning your coworkers on line and violating the Post’s requirements on workplace collegiality and inclusivity” was posted on the Mediaite web site and quoted in other information accounts.

The outspoken political author, whose 2nd stint at the Publish began in 2018, declined remark Friday.

The incident commenced when Sonmez tweeted a monitor shot of an offensive joke that a colleague, Dave Weigel, had despatched out on Twitter, introducing the comment: “Fantastic to operate at a news outlet where retweets like this are authorized.” The Put up suspended Weigel for a thirty day period for his retweet, according to published experiences.

That prompted a different reporter, Jose Del Actual, to criticize Sonmez on the net. Even though declaring Weigel experienced been erroneous, Del True referred to as for compassion. “Rallying the Web to attack him for a miscalculation he built doesn’t in fact fix nearly anything,” he wrote.

That led to a contentious again-and-forth, with Sonmez accusing Del Authentic of attacking her.

As an on line discussion widened and drew in much more individuals, Submit government editor Sally Buzbee sent out two memos contacting on team users to clearly show respect for every single other. The 2nd, on Tuesday, was a lot more stern: Buzbee wrote that “we do not tolerate colleagues attacking colleagues possibly confront to face or online.”

As it eaten much more consideration, a handful of Submit workforce tweeted their aid of the newspaper as a great location to perform. Sonmez pointed out that individuals people were being amid the newspaper’s ideal-paid out stars, and advised there has been a longstanding double normal in how social media coverage is utilized to them.

She also retweeted a display screen shot that claimed Del Authentic experienced blocked her on Twitter, including the comment, “So I hear the Washington Article is a collegial place of work.”

Even though it was consuming attention, yet another Submit reporter, Lisa Rein, tweeted to Sonmez: “please cease.”

Sonmez, who labored at the Publish in the early 2010s, remaining and rejoined, sued the Write-up and its major editors past yr, charging discrimination in barring her from covering stories similar to sexual assault after she had formerly absent community as an assault victim herself.

In the termination letter, signed by Human Methods Officer Wayne Connell, the Write-up reported that in questioning the motives of colleagues, Sonmez was undermining the Post’s name for journalistic integrity and fairness.

“The exact is genuine of your baseless derision directed to our policies and methods, and our determination to a safe and sound and supportive work surroundings,” he wrote.

Sonmez’s union, the Washington-Baltimore Information Guild, reported it is dedicated to making certain that employees are only disciplined with just lead to, but that it did not remark on personal personnel difficulties.

A single Submit columnist, Karen Attiah, tweeted on Friday that Sonmez had “always been unbelievably type and supportive” of her, and experienced achieved out when Attiah had been the concentrate on of on-line abuse.

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