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Staff outraged at New York Times response to reporter’s racist language

Letter criticizes handling of complaint that reporter Donald McNeil Jr used racist language while on a company-sponsored student trip

More than 150 New York Times staffers sent a letter on Wednesday to its executive leadership criticizing the paper’s response to complaints from parents that the journalist Donald McNeil Jr had used racist language while on a company-sponsored student trip, and for the handling of the scandal once those complaints were first reported.

“Our community is outraged and in pain,” staffers wrote, adding that despite the paper’s “seeming commitment to diversity and inclusion, [they’ve] given a prominent platform – a critical beat covering a pandemic disproportionately affecting people of color – to someone who chose to use language that is offensive and unacceptable by any newsroom’s standards”.

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