NEW YORK (Dispatches) – The Associated Press news agency has faced fierce criticism from journalists and academics for sacking a newly graduated news associate over her pro-Palestinian activism while at university.
Emily Wilder, a Jewish American who graduated from Stanford University last year, started her position at AP on 3 May. Just 16 days later, she was fired.
Wilder was told that her dismissal, announced in an AP staff memo that has been widely shared online, was over a violation of the company’s social media policy.
Speaking to Middle East Eye, the news agency confirmed that she was dismissed for violations of AP’s social media policy, stating that the violations had occurred “during her time at AP”.
While the agency did not explain which posts in question may have violated the policy - just that she had “showed clear bias” - Wilder has said that she is certain it was the opinions she shared on the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestinian territory that led to her sacking.
On Sunday, Wilder posted on Twitter a critique of the language used within mainstream media when covering issues related to the Zionist regime and Palestine.
“’Objectivity’ feels fickle when the basic terms we use to report news implicitly stake a claim,” she wrote. “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.”
The discussion over the problematic language used to cover events in the Zionist regime and Palestine is one that Middle East Eye has covered extensively in recent weeks.
This week, Zionist media outlets published stories about Wilder, highlighting her past criticism on social media of the Israeli regime and of Zionists, including Sheldon Adelson – the dead billionaire and mega financer of the Republican Party.
She had previously worked with the newspaper Arizona Republic after graduating from Stanford University, when the Stanford College Republicans tweeted a thread highlighting her support for Palestine.
The Zionist online publication Washington Free Beacon claimed that that Wilder’s hiring in Phoenix, Arizona, “could fuel concerns about the AP’s objectivity amid revelations that the news outlet shared an office building with Hamas military intelligence in Gaza”.
Zionist troops launched an airstrike on a building that housed several news organizations, including AP and Al Jazeera in Gaza City on Saturday, amid the latest round of aggression in the area. The entire 12-story building collapsed, according to AP.
Journalists expressed outrage over Wilder’s firing and sent messages of solidarity. “I stand with Emily,” wrote Rebekah Sanders, an Arizona Republic reporter. “Her reporting at our newspaper was excellent. Reverse your decision NOW.”
“I’d bet a lot of money this person is about to get a much better job,” tweeted NBC’s Ben Collins.