New York Times reviews reporter’s ‘likes’ on post advocating Gaza ‘slaughterhouse

Amidst ethical scrutiny, The New York Times delves into the actions of a freelancer whose social media activity casts shadows on journalistic neutrality in conflict coverage.


The New York Times is currently conducting an internal review of Israeli freelancer Anat Schwartz after her social media activity sparked widespread controversy. Schwartz, known for her reporting on the alleged sexual violence by Hamas, liked a post advocating for turning Gaza into a “slaughterhouse,” raising serious concerns about journalistic impartiality.

“We are aware that a freelance journalist in Israel who has worked with The Times has ‘liked’ several social media posts,” stated Danielle Rhodes Ha, a spokesperson for The New York Times. “Those ‘likes’ are unacceptable violations of our company policy.”

The investigation was triggered after social media users, including the account @zei_squirrel on X (formerly Twitter), highlighted Schwartz’s contentious endorsements online. This revelation has prompted a broader discussion on the ethical responsibilities of journalists, especially when covering highly sensitive conflict zones like Gaza.

Schwartz’s reporting, particularly her focus on the aftermath of the October 7 attacks and Israel’s retaliatory measures in Gaza, has come under scrutiny for potentially perpetuating a biased narrative. Critics argue that her social media behavior, including the inflammatory “likes,” directly contravenes The New York Times’ stringent social media guidelines, which mandate neutrality to maintain the publication’s journalistic reputation.

Margaret Sullivan, a former public editor for The Times, commented on the situation, noting the potential benefits of having a public editor during such controversies. “It’s another good day not to be The New York Times public editor,” she remarked, highlighting the need for internal oversight.

As The New York Times reviews Schwartz’s conduct, the outcome of this investigation will likely have significant implications for the publication’s credibility and its approach to conflict reporting. Ensuring journalistic integrity, especially in the coverage of sensitive political matters, remains paramount for maintaining public trust in the media.

Danielle Rhodes Ha, a spokesperson for The New York Times, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “Those ‘likes’ are unacceptable violations of our company policy. We are currently reviewing the matter.”


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