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Democracy Now!

'I Will Not Yield My Values:' Fired AP Journalist Emily Wilder Speaks Out After Right-Wing Smears

In her first TV interview, "Democracy Now!" speaks with Emily Wilder, the young reporter fired by the Associated Press after she was targeted in a Republican smear campaign for her pro-Palestinian activism in college. Wilder is Jewish and was a member of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace at Stanford University before she graduated in 2020. She was two weeks into her new job with the AP when the Stanford College Republicans singled out some of her past social media posts, triggering a conservative frenzy. The AP announced Wilder’s firing shortly thereafter, citing unspecified violations of its social media policy. "Less than 48 hours after Stanford College Republicans began to post about me, I was fired,” says Wilder. "I was not given an explanation for what social media policy I had violated."

Over 100 AP journalists have signed an open letter to management protesting the decision to fire Wilder, which came just days after Israel demolished the building housing AP offices and other media organizations in Gaza. Journalism professor Janine Zacharia, a former Jerusalem bureau chief for The Washington Post who taught Wilder at Stanford, says the episode is an example of how much pressure news organizations face on Middle East coverage. "I am very aware, perhaps more than most, to the sensitivities around the questions of bias and reporting on the conflict," says Zacharia. "In this case it wasn’t about bias."

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