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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora