the Washington Post reporter @feliciasonmez deleted her crass tweets about Kobe Bryant. But screen grabs are forever – and I took some before she deleted the tweets.— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) January 26, 2020
Bye, Felicia. pic.twitter.com/IvNZHkiBam
In a few minutes the woman was inundated with insults and threats of physical violence, but the direction of the Post, he felt the need to punish equally, as his tweet showed “poor judgment and put at risk the work of his colleagues”.
The story to which it refers Sonmez relates to an episode in 2003, when a maid, nineteen-year-old to a resort in Colorado accused the Nba champion to have her raped. The young, under a lot of pressure on the part of lawyers of Bryant, later recanted the accusation, but he maintained a civil lawsuit that was later dismissed from the basketball player. Bryant, in part, recognized the ambiguity of his own position, arguing that the sexual relationship with the young man was according to him a consensual but acknowledging that “she had not seen this episode in the same way”. Since then, Bryant had kept the point of devote himself to family life, even if the path of reconciliation with his wife Vanessa (also a mother of small Gianna died with him on Sunday) was long and marked by a start of a divorce, then returned.
For Sonmez, however, the fact that the media and the fans around the world were evoking the life and the deeds of the great champion who died by omitting completely the important moment of his life was not acceptable. It was not for her as a journalist, but also as a woman in the past, a victim of rape. His denunciation of the violence in Beijing in 2017 by the colleague of the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Kaiman, then the corresponding from China he supported the complaint of another woman against the same Kaiman), earned him the dismissal and the end of the career of the man but also a certain isolation of Sonmez with respect to the management of the Post, which in recent years has already been repeatedly targeted and rimbrottata for the activities on the social.
The measure of the direction of the Washington Post - all the more surprising given the prominent role that the newspaper itself has had to in the complaint of the first cases of violence that gave rise to the movement #MeToo - it is still in evaluation phase. For now, the woman was put on leave for administrative, while the leaders of the company decide what type of violation of the internal code on behaviour on the social it is stained. It is evident that the wave of indignation to warm caused by his tweet has overwhelmed and scared of the direction and the property, at a time when the enormity of the news of the death of Bryant was having the upper hand. But the measure, also because of the incompleteness of his motives, threatens to turn into a boomerang because the case can become symbolic of exactly that, is that the management of the Post wants to avoid.
The wave of outrage against Sonmez, in fact, is not limited to the criticism and the protests. Against the woman are flared hater armed with insults and heavy and even threats of physical violence. Someone has posted the home address of a journalist who, on Sunday was forced to go to live in a protected place, for fear of being attacked. She announced all of this via Twitter immediately. And from the top of his newspaper, rather than an act of solidarity, came the first attack: the order of deleting all of the tweets accused (including documentation of threats received via email), because they infringed the privacy of the people that were insulting. Then came the disciplinary measures, motivated, awkwardly at first with the fact that Felicia Sonmez had tweeted about a topic that excluded from its competence (a criterion according to which all journalists should end in punishment), then with the alleged violation of the privacy of those that threatened death. On the content of those tweets, though, it's hard to argue, unless one argues that bad timing can prevail over the freedom of expression.
The attitude of the management of the Post, however, does not reflect the climate in the newsroom. Obviously, the strict interpretation of the “decalogue” of behavior on social used as a method of harnessing of the journalists do not like to colleagues Sonmez. On the site it was a very harsh attack to the direction of the reporter the same Post that deals with the media, the Erik Wemple: “The clamor that has been turned on around Sonmez derives from the old custom according to which you cannot speak ill of the dead. A rule, however, does not apply to historians and journalists, which the public entrusts to know the whole truth about the past of the important characters”.
WaPo's misguided suspension of Felicia Sonmez: https://t.co/T8fJHaaFaW— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 27, 2020
The story is taking a serious crease of statutory auditors. In a long and harsh letter to the editor Martin Baron and the assistant director responsible for the standards and ethics Tracy Grant, signed by over 300 journalists, the Guild (union) accused the management of “total breach of good practice in the support victims of sexual violence - including those that we use in our journalism. The survivors of aggression inside and outside the editorial staff deserve to be treated fair and transparent. A treatment that colpevolizzi the victims or compromise the safety of the survivors”.
Our statement in support of our colleague, Felicia Sonmez: https://t.co/2GDbANeybb— Washington Post Guild (@PostGuild) January 27, 2020
But the journalists accuse the leadership of the Post also do the disproportionate use and discretionary rules of behavior on social media, and do it with a language that makes it clear as to the episode of Sonmez, so full of complications, and the heavy baggage of personal life, is in reality only the culmination of a deeper problem. And ask not only for the immediate cancellation of the injunction against the colleague, but also being put in the field of active measures to protect and defend. And they conclude, with an appeal that is also a warning: “Let we do what we want to do, really, journalists.”
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