New York Times Magazine writer Jazmine Hughes resigned from her post at the news giant on Friday after speaking to her editor about signing a letter opposing the Israel-Gaza war by Writers Against the War on Gazawhich constituted a violation of editorial guidelines, according to the Times. The letter expressed support for Palestinians and expressed their opposition to Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip.
“While I respect that she has strong convictions, this was a clear violation of the Times’ policy on public protest,” Jake Silverstein, editor of The New York Times Magazine, wrote in an email to staff Friday evening. “This policy, which I fully support, is an important part of our commitment to independence.”
Silverstein said Hughes violated the news organization’s rules earlier this year when she signed another public letter expressing concerns about the newspaper’s coverage of transgender issues. This letter was also signed by other Times employees.
“She and I discussed that her desire to take such a public position and engage in public protests was incompatible with being a journalist at The Times, and we both concluded that she should resign,” Silverstein said in his letter email to employees.
Hughes, who worked at the Times since 2015, declined to comment on her resignation. The anti-Gaza letter was also signed by New York Times Magazine writer Jamie Lauren Keiles as well as numerous other authors, including journalists from the Los Angeles Times, Jewish Currents, Al Jazeera, Vox Media, New York Magazine and elsewhere. Keiles said in a post
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 on Gaza is an attempt to commit genocide against the Palestinian people.” The group’s organizing committee includes journalists from Jewish Currents, Jacobin, the University of Chicago and other organizations.
Hughes worked as both a writer and editor for The New York Times Magazine and earlier this year won a National Magazine Award for writing portraits of Viola Davis and Whoopi Goldberg. In 2020, she also won the American Society of Magazine’s Editors Next Award for journalists under 30.