Emily Wilder has released a public statement regarding her unceremonious firing by the Associated Press.
In the statement, posted to Twitter on Saturday, the 22-year-old journalist and recent Stanford graduate, whom the AP fired after bowing to a smear campaign mounted by Stanford College Republicans over Wilder’s support for pro-Palestinian causes while on campus, Wilder notes that she never received a clear answer as to why she was terminated beyond vague, unsupported claims that she allegedly violated the news agency’s social media policy.
As for how she’s feeling about the past week’s events, Wilder says:
This is heartbreaking as a young journalist so hungry to learn from the fearless investigative reporting of AP journalists—and do that reporting myself. It’s terrifying as a young woman who was hung out to dry when I needed support from my institution most. And it’s enraging as a Jewish person—who grew up in a Jewish community’s attended Orthodox schooling and devoted my college years to studying Palestine and Israel—that I could be defamed as antisemitic and throw under the bus in the process.
I am 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. The compassion that drove my activism is part of what led me to be a reporter committed to just critical, fact-based coverage of under-told stories. Now, after being fired after less than three weeks at my job, I have to ask what kind of message this sends to young people who’re hoping to channel righteous indignation or passion for justice into impactful storytelling. What future does it promise to aspiring reporters that an institution like the Associated Press would sacrifice those with the least power to the cruel trolling of a group of anonymous bullies? What does it mean for this industry that even sharing the painful experiences of Palestinians or interrogating the language we use to describe them can be seen as irredeemably “biased”?
“I will not be intimidated into silence,” she said in closing. “I will be back soon.”