The Philadelphia Inquirer’s top editor has resigned after staffers complained about a “deeply offensive” headline that was published earlier in the week.
Stan Wischnowski, who worked for the Inquirer for two decades, published an article about the looting and destruction that came as peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd gave way to violent riots and looting in major cities nationwide — Philadelphia included.
The article’s headline read, “Buildings Matter Too.” (RELATED: Philadelphia Inquirer Apologizes For Telling Protestors ‘Buildings Matter, Too’)
Philadelphia Inquirer top editor forced to resign after publishing piece with ‘Buildings Matter’ headline. Was with paper 20 years; led team to Pulitzer; doubled minority staff. Apologized for ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ headline. ‘Deeply offensive.’ https://t.co/eY0sOsgfiG
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 7, 2020
During Wischnowski’s tenure as editor, the newsroom has taken strides to double the number of minority staffers — minorities now make up over 25% of the newsroom — but a Zoom call with staffers made it clear that many did not believe enough had been done. That call was followed by an open letter from some of the staff.
Today, I’m joining my colleagues of color at the @PhillyInquirer and calling in sick and tired.
Things need to change. We call on The Inquirer to do better. To be better.
Here is the open letter we sent our newsroom leadership:https://t.co/itNknoDvE5
— Melanie Burney (@MLBURNEY) June 4, 2020
The next day, a number of minority staffers called out “sick and tired” over the issue.
BREAKING: More than 30 journalists of color at the Philadelphia Inquirer are calling out sick today in protest of systemic racism; others are taking part in a byline strike. This was prompted by the paper’s disastrous ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ headline https://t.co/YNi1agJBh6
— Dave Jamieson (@jamieson) June 4, 2020
Wischnowski signed off on a letter from several editors apologizing for the headline.
“The Philadelphia Inquirer published a headline in Tuesday’s edition that was deeply offensive. We should not have printed it. We’re sorry, and regret that we did. We also know that an apology on its own is not sufficient,” the letter read in part.