New York Times Magazine writer Jazmine Hughes resigned from the news giant on Friday after a conversation with her editor over signing a letter opposing the Israel-Gaza war from Writers Against the War on Gaza, which was a violation of newsroom policies, according to the Times. The letter voiced support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel’s siege of Gaza.
“While I respect that she has strong convictions, this was a clear violation of The Times’s policy on public protest,” New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein wrote in an email to staff Friday evening. “This policy, which I fully support, is an important part of our commitment to independence.”
According to Silverstein, Hughes had violated the news institution’s rules earlier this year when she signed another public letter that expressed concerns about how the newspaper covered transgender issues. That letter was also signed by other Times contributors.
“She and I discussed that her desire to stake out this kind of public position and join in public protests isn’t compatible with being a journalist at The Times, and we both came to the conclusion that she should resign,” Silverstein said in his email to staff.
Hughes, who was with the Times since 2015, declined to comment on her resignation. The anti-Gaza letter was also signed by contributing New York Times Magazine writer Jamie Lauren Keiles, along with numerous other writers, including journalists from the Los Angeles Times, Jewish Currents, Al Jazeera, Vox Media, New York Magazine and elsewhere. Keiles said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that he would no longer contribute to the Times, noting that it was “a personal decision about what kind of work I want to be able to do.”
Writers Against the War on Gaza describes itself as “committed to solidarity and the horizon of liberation for the Palestinian people.” The open letter signed by Hughes begins, “Israel’s war against Gaza is an attempt to conduct genocide against the Palestinian people.” The group’s organizing committee includes journalists from Jewish Currents, Jacobin, the University of Chicago and elsewhere.
Hughes worked for the New York Times Magazine as both a writer and editor and won a National Magazine Award for profile writing earlier this year for profiles of Viola Davis and Whoopi Goldberg. She also won an American Society of Magazine Editors Next award for journalists under 30 in 2020.
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