Within The Washington Post’s Social Media Meltdown
On Tuesday afternoon, Washington Submit reporter Josh Dawsey tweeted that he was “proud” to operate at the paper, a place “filled with many wonderful persons who are clever and collegial.” 4 minutes later on, reporter Rosalind Helderman, too, tweeted that she was “proud” to perform at the Publish, which is “always striving to be greater than it was yesterday.” Six minutes later, one more reporter, Amy Gardner, tweeted how she was “proud” to get the job done at the paper, followed by other leading journalists at the publication, these kinds of as Matt Viser, Carol Leonnig, and Dan Balz.
The public outpouring of Article pride—which I’m explained to political reporters ended up urging one an additional to take component in—followed govt editor Sally Buzbee’s memo reiterating place of work procedures and promoting collegiality among the workers. The memo dropped pursuing a couple of times at the Post that have been, as just one reporter described it, a “clusterfuck.” Dave Weigel, a nationwide political correspondent, is, as of Monday, suspended devoid of shell out for the next thirty day period just after retweeting a sexist tweet past 7 days, which he then instantly unshared and apologized for immediately after a colleague known as him out both equally on the enterprise Slack and publicly. Hrs after information of Weigel’s suspension broke Monday, that colleague, political reporter Felicia Sonmez, was urging the paper to get action towards a unique colleague, Jose Del Genuine, who on Saturday took aim at Sonmez for “the cruelty you regularly unleash versus colleagues.” (He manufactured this place soon after commending Sonmez for “your bravery in sharing your tale,” adding, “I help your struggle versus retribution for accomplishing so.”)
Meanwhile, in one more corner of Twitter on Saturday, Taylor Lorenz—the star Submit tech writer and social media lightning rod—was detailing how a “miscommunication with an editor” resulted in an error in a latest Publish piece although also hitting back again in opposition to critics and CNN reporter Oliver Darcy, who was masking the incident.
The Submit drama spilling out publicly onto Twitter has upended the newsroom, wherever there is no lack of opinions on the ongoing fallout. “I think Felicia originally was right—that was a gross Dave Weigel tweet, and we ended up all grateful she referred to as focus to it,” a single Post staffer told me. The dilemma, the staffer included, was in “continuing to make it an issue and go immediately after a lot more and a lot more colleagues.” And as a reporter stated of Lorenz: “Taylor is very gifted, but her personalized antics routinely overshadow her journalism.”
Sonmez, Lorenz, and Weigel declined to remark for this short article.
The social media meltdown has turned the spotlight on Buzbee, who just very last week celebrated her just one-12 months anniversary as the paper’s top rated editor. Team use of Twitter bedeviled Buzbee’s predecessor, Marty Baron, who took issue with how journalists, like Sonmez, utilized Twitter, but failed to enact a new social media plan. (Other legacy publications, this kind of as The New York Moments, have furthermore been analyzed by the social media use of their reporters—something Dean Baquet talked about typically, specifically on his way out.) The outcomes of that inaction are now slipping on Buzbee, as the Article’s social media coverage is “so intermittently enforced, or not at all, that it leaves it to the most serious figures to finish up obtaining us into these varieties of circumstances,” just one reporter mentioned.
In the Tuesday memo, Buzbee stated shared newsroom values and emphasized how workforce should really address a person an additional. “We do not tolerate colleagues attacking colleagues possibly deal with to experience or online. Regard for other individuals is important to any civil culture, which include our newsroom,” she wrote. “The newsroom social media plan details exclusively to the need for collegiality.”
“In the very last 12 months, we have enforced, as a result of discussions, mediation and disciplinary steps, egregious violations of our social media policy, just as we have enforced our in general expectations,” Buzbee additional. “As we have explained, we system to update the social media coverage. Until then, the existing coverage continues to be in result. It states: When it comes to your colleagues, be constructive and collegial: If you have a concern or problem about anything that has been revealed, speak to your colleague straight. We respect and do not want to inhibit any employee’s appropriate to elevate respectable workplace problems. We know it takes bravery to simply call out complications. And we pledge to brazenly and honestly address challenges brought to us. We moved immediately to demonstrate our intolerance for a sexist re-tweet despatched by an employee last Friday.”
Even though a number of Publish journalists turned to Twitter to praise the paper, one particular I spoke to was a lot less than amazed with Buzbee’s memo, as it not only felt like a read through-out of preexisting social media policies but also unsuccessful to clarify the inconsistency—why Weigel had been suspended but not Sonmez or Del True, equally of whom experienced arguably violated the nondisparagement rule she cited in the electronic mail.