In May 19, the Associated Press, one of the world’s great press agencies, fired a young news associate working for them in Arizona, because it said she had authored “some tweets” that “violated AP’s News Values and Principles.” Nobody has pointed to misconduct in her work for the AP itself. What seems to have happened here is that a campaign by the Stanford College Republicans singling Emily Wilder out as an “anti-Israeli agitator” by way of questioning the AP’s objectivity on the issue started to catch fie, and the AP sought to douse that fire quickly.
Wilder had worked at AP for only 17 days when she was fired. She had not written the contested tweets during that 17 day period: she had created them while an undergraduate at Stanford College, when she was with the campus newspaper.
Thing to Know:
On May 15, an Israeli airstrike destroyed the building in Gaza used by the AP in the coverage of that conflict. This was part of a broader exchange of fire between the Palestinian group Hamas and Israel, and it was seen by some as part of an Israeli effort to render its military activities in Gaza opaque to the outside world. The Stanford College Republicans focused their own (metaphorical) fire on a recent Stanford alum, her Palestinian sympathies, and accordingly on the AP’s objectivity as a way of distracting attention from the coverage of that airstrike more than seven thousand miles away.