A top Associated Press editor on Sunday defended the news wire’s decision to fire reporter Emily Wilder over pro-Palestinian tweets.
During an appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources, AP managing editor Brian Carovillano told host Brian Stelter that Wilder was fired because she showed “clear bias” with her tweets “toward one side and against another in one of the most divisive and difficult stories we cover.”
The firing came during the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“It’s really important that we maintain our credibility on these stories,” Carovillano said. “Journalists’ safety is at stake and the AP’s credibility is at stake. Our credibility is constantly under attack. Our social media guidelines exist to protect that credibility, because protecting our credibility is the same as protecting journalists.”
Stelter asked Carovillano if the Stanford College Republicans calling out Wilder’s past pro-Palestine tweets had anything to do with her firing. Carovillano denied a connection.
“You know, this is the Associated Press, so anyone who thinks that the AP would be cowed by the College Republicans does not know very much about the AP,” Carovillano said.
Carovillano added the AP will always protect and fight for their reporters no matter what situation they are in.
The AP kicked off a firestorm earlier this month when it fired Phoenix-based news associate Emily Wilder for her past tweets two weeks after she started at the company.
Wilder shared a statement on Saturday saying that she is “one victim to the asymmetrical enforcement of rules around objectivity and social media that has censored so many journalists — particularly Palestinian journalists and other journalists of color — before me.”
My statement on my termination from The Associated Press. pic.twitter.com/kf4NCkDJXx
— emily wilder (@vv1lder) May 22, 2021
More than 100 employees of the newswire service signed a letter in support of Wilder that criticized their company over the lack of communication about her firing.
Carovillano told Stelter that firing Wilder was a difficult decision and not a personal one.