A young journalist who was fired from the Associated Press after pro-Palestine activism and social media posts resurfaced says the outlet made her a 'scapegoat'

  • Emily Wilder, a journalist who was fired from the Associated Press, said the outlet scapegoated her.
  • As an undergrad at Stanford, Wilder was an active member of two pro-Palestinian student groups and criticized the Israeli military on social media.
  • Wilder said the AP was aware of her “activism for Palestinian human rights” and promised it wouldn’t impact her employment.
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A journalist who believes she was fired from the Associated Press in connection with tweets in which she advocated against the Israeli military has spoken out.

Emily Wilder began working for the AP as a news associate on May 3. About two weeks later, the news agency fired her, citing a violated its social media policy. 

In a statement published on Twitter, Emily Wilder said the AP seems to have turned her into a “scapegoat.” 

“In the end, rather than take whatever misstep I made as a teaching opportunity — as is the point of the news associate program — it appears they took it as an opportunity to make me a scapegoat,” Wilder said. 

 

The News Media Guild, the union that represents AP staff members, said in a statement that the agency “noted that the policy was specifically brought to her attention after her hiring but did not specify which comments caused her termination.” Wilder also said she has not been told which social media posts led to her termination. 

Wilder has indicated that she believes she was fired because a group of college Republicans identified an old social media post in which Wilder criticized the Israeli government in 2020. The Stanford College Republicans, the group that flagged the post, called Wilder an “anti-Israel agitator” and lambasted the AP for bringing her on.

When she was an undergraduate at Stanford University, Wilder was an active member of two pro-Palestinian student groups. The Stanford College Republicans resurfaced her participation and activity in these groups.

Wilder in her statement said the AP had been aware of her “activism for Palestinian human rights at Stanford University.” 

“I was transparent with my editors, and they reassured me I would not face punishment for my previous activism,” she continued. 

Since her termination, high-profile conservative figures, including Sen. Tom Cotton and right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro, have taunted and blasted her online, Wilder said, fueling angry supporters who began to hurl insults at her.

“I received an onslaught of sexist, antisemitic, racist and violent comments and messages,” she said. 

Several journalists, including colleagues from the Arizona Republic, where Wilder worked before joining the AP, spoke out in support of her. 

“Shame on @AP,” reporter Rebekah Sanders wrote on Twitter. “I stand with Emily. Her reporting at our newspaper was excellent. Reverse your decision NOW.”

The AP did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

 

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