NYT Chides Journalists Who Faulted Paper's Trans Coverage

Journalists behind Wednesday's open letter aren't pleased with the response
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2023 1:40 AM CST
NYT Chides Journalists Who Faulted Paper's Trans Coverage
   (Getty Images / mizoula)

Hundreds of current and former New York Times contributors sent an open letter Wednesday criticizing the paper's coverage of transgender issues—and the Times apparently isn't having it. In an internal Thursday memo obtained by the Hill, executive editor Joe Kahn faulted the letter for containing "direct attacks on several of our colleagues, singling them out by name. Participation in such a campaign is against the letter and spirit of our ethics policy," which forbids journalists from aligning themselves with advocacy groups (more than 100 LGBTQ and civil rights groups, including GLAAD, sent a separate letter of their own at the same time, reports NBC News) and attacking their colleague's journalism publicly.

  • From the open letter: "The Times has in recent years treated gender diversity with an eerily familiar mix of pseudoscience and euphemistic, charged language, while publishing reporting on trans children that omits relevant information about its sources."
  • From Kahn's reply: "Our coverage of transgender issues, including the specific pieces singled out for attack, is important, deeply reported, and sensitively written. We do not welcome, and will not tolerate, participation by Times journalists in protests organized by advocacy groups or attacks on colleagues on social media and other public forums."
  • From an update to the open letter: "We are disappointed that the New York Times chose to use their public response ... as an opportunity to attempt to dismiss the well-documented complaint of editorial bias detailed in our letter. Times representatives avoided addressing the substantive concerns in the letter by simply alleging that it 'came to [them] through GLAAD.' However, GLAAD confirmed to us that they did not deliver a copy of our letter to the New York Times. We look forward to clarification from the Times." (See the journalists' full response here.)

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