The Washington Post reporter who was reinstated after being suspended for her tweets that had been made within the wake of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s sudden passing is now calling on the paper’s editor to publicly clarify why she was punished to start with.
Washington Publish Managing Editor Tracy Grant issued a press release on Tuesday addressing the controversy surrounding political reporter Felicia Sonmez, whom critics slammed for sharing a report in regards to the sexual assault allegation in opposition to Bryant because the information of his tragic loss of life was nonetheless breaking on Sunday.
“After conducting an inside overview, we’ve got decided that, whereas we take into account Felicia’s tweets ill-timed, she was not in clear and direct violation of our social media coverage,” Grant mentioned. “Reporters on social media characterize The Washington Publish, and our coverage states ‘we have to be ever conscious of preserving the repute of The Washington Publish for journalistic excellence, equity, and independence.’ We persistently urge restraint, which is especially essential when there are tragic deaths. We remorse having spoken publicly a few personnel matter.”
Now, Sonmez is defiantly calling on Government Editor Marty Baron to clarify what went on behind the paper’s dealing with of the controversy.
“I imagine that Washington Publish readers and workers, together with myself, deserve to listen to instantly from Marty Baron on the newspaper’s dealing with of this matter,” Sonmez mentioned in a press release Tuesday. “Washington Publish journalists endeavor to reside as much as the paper’s mission assertion, which states, ‘The newspaper shall inform ALL the reality as far as it could possibly study it, in regards to the essential affairs of America and the world.'”
“My suspension, and Mr. Baron’s Jan. 26 electronic mail warning me that my tweets a few matter of public report had been ‘hurting this establishment,’ have sadly sown confusion in regards to the depth of administration’s dedication to this objective,” she continued.
“I hope Washington Publish newsroom leaders won’t solely prioritize their workers’ security within the face of threats of bodily hurt but in addition be certain that no journalist will probably be punished for talking the reality,” Sonmez added.
The Washington Publish declined to remark.
Earlier within the night, The Washington Publish Newspaper Guild issued a response to Sonmez’s reinstatement, welcoming the choice however expressing disappointment that the paper’s assertion didn’t supply an apology to the reporter, and condemned the employer for not prioritizing its employees.
“We stay involved that The Publish didn’t take swift motion to supply her with safety and assist. We urge the corporate to prioritize worker security above all else,” the Guild wrote.
Sonmez was slammed on social media for sharing a 2016 story about 2003 rape allegations from The Each day Beast headlined, “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Proof, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession,” as particulars of the helicopter crash had been nonetheless trickling out.
Sonmez doubled down with quite a few follow-up tweets after her preliminary message was hit with an onslaught of backlash, writing that the response was “eye-opening” and claiming she obtained abuse and loss of life threats.
“Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality… even if that public figured is beloved and that totality unsettling,” Sonmez wrote. “That folks are responding with rage & threats toward me… speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.”
Sonmez ultimately deleted the tweets, however her employer wasn’t happy and positioned her on administrative go away pending a overview.
“Nationwide political reporter Felicia Sonmez was positioned on administrative go away whereas The Publish critiques whether or not tweets in regards to the loss of life of Kobe Bryant violated The Publish newsroom’s social media coverage. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues,“ Grant advised Fox Information on the time.
The Publish’s punishment of its reporter then confronted its personal backlash from contained in the paper, together with from the Guild, in addition to from its media critic Eric Wemple, who knocked his employer’s “misguided” suspension of Sonmez for sharing a “superb story” from The Each day Beast in regards to the misconduct claims in opposition to Bryant.
Wemple revealed from his personal interview with Sonmez that The Publish condemned her for the tweets as a result of “they did not ‘pertain'” to her “protection space” and that “your habits on social media is making it more durable for others to do their work as Washington Publish journalists.”
“A few ideas about these objections: One, if journalists at The Publish are liable to suspension for tweeting tales off their beats, the whole newsroom ought to be on administrative go away,” Wemple wrote. “Two, the competition that sharing a hyperlink to a information article complicates the work of others requires supporting proof.”
Fox Information’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.