REPORT: NYT Accuses Around 20 Staffers Of Endangering Colleagues After They Criticized The Paper’s Trans Coverage

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The New York Times’ managing editors accused nearly twenty Times staffers of conspiring against the paper and endangering their co-workers after  the staffers signed a letter lashing out against the paper’s coverage of transgender issues, The Daily Beast reported Monday.

A group of some 200 Times staffers and contributors sent an open letter to the newspaper’s executives in February, criticizing the paper’s coverage of transgender procedures for minors, which they claimed was overly critical of sex-change surgeries and hormone injections. Times managing editors Carolyn Ryan and Marc Lacey told the staffers in March 9 memos that the writers who were denounced in the letter “endured attacks and threats” as a result, according to the Beast.

“Your colleagues whose work was criticized in the letter, some by name, have carried out their work in a fair-minded, sensitive, and journalistically sound fashion,” Ryan and Lacey wrote in the letters, according to the Beast. “They have endured attacks and threats as a result of the letter. By signing, you have not only amplified that campaign but endorsed it, too. That is harmful to them personally and to our reputation for providing quality, independent journalism.”

NEW YORK - JULY 23: Copies of the New York Times sit for sale in a rack July 23, 2008 in New York City. The New York broadsheet announced it posted an 82 percent decline in second quarter profits as compared to last year. It also announced it would raise its newsstand price 25 cents to a $1.50. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“This letter serves as a reminder of the expectations for your conduct generally, as well as under company policies and guidelines,” the memo reportedly read. (RELATED: REPORT: New York Times Will Commence Disciplinary Hearings For Writers That Signed Letter Condemning Trans Coverage)

In addition to the 20 staffers who received the written warnings, others endured “tongue lashings” during meetings with high-level Times editors, according to the Beast.

The NewsGuild of New York, a union of Times staffers, said in a February letter that the newspaper’s coverage of transgender issues may have created a “hostile and biased work environment.” Joe Kahn, the executive editor of the Times, sent a memo to employees in mid-February warning them against protesting the articles about transgender coverage.

“We do not welcome, and will not tolerate, participation of Times journalists in protests organized by advocacy groups or attacks on colleagues on social media and other public forums,” Kahn wrote.