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The New York Times suspended Andrew Goldman for four weeks after he posted inappropriate tweets in response to critics of his interview with Tippi Hedren.

Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported that according to “a statement sent to me by the Times corporate communications office” from Goldman’s editor Hugo Lindgren, Goldman’s suspension will be for “four weeks, beginning Oct. 28.”

As iMediaEthics wrote last week, Goldman apologized to author Jennifer Weiner for tweets like “Little Freud in me thinks you would have liked to at least have had opportunity to sleep way to top.”  Weiner had tweeted criticism of Goldman, writing “See which actress Andrew Goldman has accused of sleeping her way to the top.”

Shortly after his tweets, Goldman’s editor at the Times magazine, Hugo Lindgren, defended Goldman’s question to Hedren, and previous questions accused of being “misogynist or sexist,” but described Goldman’s tweets as “needlessly rude and insulting” as well as an “unfortunate outburst.” Sullivan recommended the newspaper get a “clear social media policy” and described Goldman as a “highly responsible freelancer.”

Sullivan added in her Oct. 17 blog post that associate managing editor for standards Philip B. Corbett “reminded staff members — and freelancers — of the Times’s policy” on social media.

In that memo, he described the Times’ “guidance broad and simple,” but advised that freelancers and staffers “We should always treat Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms as public activities” and that as a “Times journalist…your online behavior should be appropriate for a Times journalist.”

Further, he wrote:

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“Be thoughtful. Take care that nothing you say online will undercut your credibility as a journalist. Newsroom staff members should avoid editorializing or promoting political views. And we should be civil – even to critics – and avoid personal attacks and offensive remarks.”

He also pointed to the Times’ Ethical Journalism policy” which dictates:

“We treat our readers no less fairly in private than in public. Anyone who deals with readers is expected to honor that principle, knowing that ultimately the readers are our employers. Civility applies whether an exchange takes place in person, by telephone, by letter or online.”

The Atlantic Wire noted that Weiner commented on Twitter on Goldman’s suspension said “it was not anything I asked for.”  To the Atlantic Wire, she added that “anyone with a Twitter account has probably written something they’ve taken down five seconds later, or thought, ‘Oh, wow, should not have gone there.’ God knows I have.”  Further, she suggested:  “I think the Times has a corporate culture where a woman reader says, ‘This isn’t right,’ and a male editor or reporter dismisses or belittles her concern.”   But, Weiner said, “I’m confident that Margaret Sullivan and [Times executive editor] Jill Abramson are up to the task of changing the institutional culture there. I look forward to watching them work … and I look forward to seeing the work Andrew Goldman does when he returns.”

iMediaEthics wrote to the Times seeking a response to Weiner’s comments. Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told iMediaEthics that “This is not something we will respond to.”

Hat Tip: Media Bistro’s Fishbowl NY

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NYTimes Suspends Freelancer Andrew Goldman for Tippi Hedren Tweets

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