The Los Angeles Times is preventing employees who signed onto a letter highly critical of Israel and western media coverage from reporting on the Israel-Hamas war “for at least three months,” per a recent Semafor report.
More than 1,200 current and former journalists have signed onto a public letter from Nov. 9 condemning “Israel’s killing of journalists in Gaza” and calling for “integrity in Western media coverage of Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians.”
“As reporters, editors, photographers, producers, and other workers in newsrooms around the world, we are appalled at the slaughter of our colleagues and their families by the Israeli military and government,” the letter reads.
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“We also hold Western newsrooms accountable for dehumanizing rhetoric that has served to justify ethnic cleansing of Palestinians,” the letter continues. “Yet the call for fair coverage has gone unanswered. Newsrooms have instead undermined Palestinian, Arab and Muslim perspectives, dismissing them as unreliable and have invoked inflammatory language that reinforces Islamophobic and racist tropes.”
But some journalists who signed their names to the letter are facing repercussions back in their newsrooms.
“Two people with knowledge of the situation told Semafor that staffers who signed the letter have been told by the paper’s management that they will not be allowed to cover the conflict in any way for at least three months,” Semafor reported.
The Times did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. Fifteen of the signers of the letter list the Los Angeles Times by their names.
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Semafor reported that Los Angeles Times executive editor Kevin Merida “reminded staff of the company’s ethics and fairness policy, which stated that a ‘fair-minded reader of the Times news coverage should not be able to discern the private opinions of those who contributed to that coverage, or to infer that the organization is promoting any agenda.’”
“Feeling heard and seen are essential to a healthy newsroom, as are civility and collective responsibility,” Merida reportedly wrote. “Rigor, fairness, dissent, difference, can all co-exist as qualities that lead to the best journalism.”
He continued: “But we must maintain the integrity of that journalism, which is core to our reputation. Journalism itself is an agent for change. Having a compass to guide that work ensures that we don’t imperil it, or inadvertently cause harm to our colleagues’ ability to do their jobs.”
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The left-leaning Los Angeles Times editorial board called for a cease-fire on Thursday, saying “Hamas’ atrocities do not justify atrocities in kind,” and President Biden should exert pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We are past the time to excuse the horror in Gaza. Biden has to press Netanyahu hard to stop the mass, indiscriminate killing. That starts with a call for a cease-fire,” it wrote.
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