New York Times Editor Michael Slackman was forced to apologize after publishing a job advert that was perceived to be wanting to Kenyans, Africans.
According to the advert, the publication was seeking for journalists to cover ‘conflict’ and ‘unexpected stories of hope’ in the region.
The advert read in part: “The ideal candidate should enjoy jumping on news, be willing to cover conflict, and also be drawn to investigative stories. There is also the chance to delight our readers with unexpected stories of hope and the changing rhythms of life in a rapidly evolving region…”
The New York Times was looking for the Nairobi Bureau Chief who would cover stories across several countries in the continent.
Following the circulation of the advert, thousands of irate netizens expressed their disappointment and anger towards it.
Issuing his apology, the editor wrote to a group called LAM sisterhood, who had captured a video of themselves criticizing the New York Times boss.
We made this for you
— The LAM Sisterhood (@sisterhood_lam) July 4, 2019
He wrote: “Dear Lam Sisterhood. Thank you. I loved it (the video making fun of the job advert) and learned from your dramatic reading. I deserved it.
“That job posting was my doing and I want to explain what happened. We are currently looking for three correspondents to cover Africa and I saw this as an opportunity to find the best there is,” he added, explaining why the advert was published.
“But I plead guilty to taking a short cut: Rather than write a new job description, a posting from about 18 months went out. I gave it a cursory look and approved it. Mea Culpa,” he apologized.
But I plead guilty to taking a short cut: Rather than write a new job description, a posting from about 18 months went out. I gave it a cursory look, and approved it. Mea Culpa.
— Michael Slackman (@meslackman) July 7, 2019
He later went ahead to assert that the New York Times is committed to covering Africa, not as if it were a stereotype but because it matters.