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Published On: Mon, Jun 8th, 2020

NYT Editor Resigns Over Op-ed Urged Military Force Against Anti-racism Protesters

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NYTNEW DELHI : After online fury and intense criticism from many New York Times staffers, the paper’s editorial page head has resigned in controversy after publishing an op-ed by a US senator who urged military force against protesters nationwide.

James Bennet — the editorial page editor since May 2016 — faced intense backlash after initially defending the column headlined “Send in The Military” by Republican US Senator Tom Cotton. The hardline op-ed — which Bennet initially defended as an example of the newspaper’s commitment to ideological diversity — was met with both internal and external outrage.tom cottos
A New York Times editorial page editor responsible for publishing a column that advocated using the military to quiet protests over U.S. racial inequality resigned from his position on Sunday, the newspaper announced.
U.S. President Donald Trump slammed the newspaper in a Tweet after the announcement, saying that “The New York Times is Fake News!!!”
The New York Times has come under fire after it published an editorial on June 3 from U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, titled “Send in the Troops.” Cotton wrote that an “overwhelming show of force” would restore order after protests for racial justice spread across the country, some of which turned violent. “It’s past time to support local law enforcement with federal authority,” Cotton wrote.
The editor, James Bennet, will be replaced by Katie Kingsbury. Bennet had been the Editorial Page Editor since 2016. He had helped expand the range of voices the paper published and explore new formats, according to a note publisher A.G. Sulzberger sent to staff.
Jim Dao, a deputy in the paper’s opinion section who oversees op-eds, is stepping off the masthead to move into a new role in the newsroom, according to the Times. Before joining The New York Times as an editor, Bennet was the editor-in-chief of news magazine The Atlantic. He was in the running for the top job at The New York Times. Earlier in his career, he was a reporter with The New York Times.
His resignation comes as newsrooms across the United States examine their own track record with diversity and sensitivity to issues to people of color. On Saturday, the top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stan Wischnowski, resigned after employees walked out in protest over a headline “Buildings Matter, Too,” on a story about the impact of civil unrest on property.

Some 800 Times staffers signed a petition in protest of its publication, as many of the paper’s employees tweeted: “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”The company’s publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, also initially defended the decision to issue the column but later said the essay fell short of NYT standards.

Bennet also admitted he had not read the column before its publication. On Sunday, Sulzberger dubbed James “a journalist of enormous talent and integrity” in an NYT statement announcing the resignation.
The statement did not mention the op-ed controversy, but the paper quoted Sulzberger as saying in a note to staff that “last week we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first we’ve experienced in recent years.”
“James and I agreed that it would take a new team to lead the department through a period of considerable change.” The paper named Katie Kingsbury, a Times staffer since 2017, the acting editorial page editor through the November election.
(With Media Reports).

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