News / USA

Ousted NY Times Editor Talks of Resiliency at Wake Field Commencement

Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the commencement ceremony at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., May 19, 2014.
Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, receives an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the commencement ceremony at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., May 19, 2014.

Related Articles

VOA News
The New York Times' ousted top editor Jill Abramson made her first public remarks on Monday not shying away from the controversy surrounding her departure and told graduates to fight back.
 
“Some of you, and now I'm talking to anybody who has been dumped ... You know the sting of losing and not getting something you badly want. When that happens, show them what you are made of,'' she said.
 
Abramson delivered the commencement speech to students graduating from Wake Forest University in North Carolina after unusually scathing criticism of her management style leveled by Times' publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
 
She brought up Anita Hill, noting that the attorney who accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment turned her insults into a badge of honor.
 
FILE - With Executive Editor Jill Abramson (R), publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. holds up four fingers to indicate the four Pulitzer Prizes won by the New York Times, as winners for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize are announced in the newsroom in New York.FILE - With Executive Editor Jill Abramson (R), publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. holds up four fingers to indicate the four Pulitzer Prizes won by the New York Times, as winners for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize are announced in the newsroom in New York.
x
FILE - With Executive Editor Jill Abramson (R), publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. holds up four fingers to indicate the four Pulitzer Prizes won by the New York Times, as winners for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize are announced in the newsroom in New York.
FILE - With Executive Editor Jill Abramson (R), publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. holds up four fingers to indicate the four Pulitzer Prizes won by the New York Times, as winners for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize are announced in the newsroom in New York.

‘Anita wrote me last week to say she was proud of me. That meant so much,'' Abramson said.
 
Abramson co-wrote a book with New Yorker magazine writer Jane Mayer  about Thomas.

Message of resiliency

Abramson's abrupt dismissal last Wednesday unleashed a polemic in the media world amid speculation that she was fired for complaining about being paid less than her male counterparts -- an allegation denied by the company, the French news agency AFP reported.
 
Amid high media interest in her case, the ousted editor did not address the circumstances about her dismissal but said she wanted to bring a message to students about resilience in life.
 
"Sure, losing a job you love hurts," she said.
 
"But the work I revere -- journalism that holds powerful institutions and people accountable -- is what makes our democracy so resilient. This is the work I will remain very much a part of."
 
She cited numerous cases of people bouncing back from adversity and urged the graduating class to take inspiration from that.

"I'm talking to anyone who's been dumped, not gotten the job you really wanted or received those horrible rejection letters from grad school," she said.
 
"You know the sting of losing or not getting something you badly want. When that happens, show what you are made of," Abramson said.

Sulzberger, whose family controls the New York Times Co., announced to a stunned newsroom last week that he had replaced Abramson with her second-in-command, Dean Baquet. Abramson was the first woman appointed to lead the newsroom.
 
She told the students that she had no immediate professional plans.

“What's next for me. I don't know. So I'm in exactly the same boat as many of you,'' Abramson told the audience.
 
Sulzberger's abrupt dismissal of the woman he hired three  years ago sparked a firestorm of debate over women managers in the workplace. The controversy was fueled by a report in The New Yorker that said Abramson was paid less than her predecessor as executive editor, Bill Keller, and other male counterparts during her 17-year career at the paper.
 
Compensation factors

Sulzberger has since twice spoken out to say that Abramson's compensation was not ``considerably'' less than that of Keller's - that it was directly comparable - and to deny she was removed because she is a woman.
 
In a statement on Saturday, Sulzberger targeted Abramson's management skills, ticking off a list of reasons including ``arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring in colleagues with her, inadequate communication and public mistreatment of colleagues.”

To the Wake Field graduates, Abramson offered special praise for The Times in her remarks.
 
She said Times journalists "risk their lives frequently to bring you the best news report in the world" and is "such an important and irreplaceable institution."

Abramson famously got a tattoo of the Times iconic ``T'' on her back. When asked if she was going to remove it, she said: ``Not a chance.”

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters and AFP.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jim Lewis from: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsi
May 19, 2014 2:03 PM
Ms. Abramson has spunk and well deserves the special attention from the community she has served so well over the years. Presently she has been given the opportunity to catch her breath and prepare for the next episode we call life.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid