Earlier this week we learned that The New York Post has laid off associate editor Sandra Guzman, who edited the Latino-focused section, Tempo, for the paper.
Guzman also spoke against a Sean Delanos cartoon that debuted earlier this year featuring a monkey and a possible reference to President Barack Obama. Combine that with the fact that the Post doesn’t have too many editors of color and it’s Hispanic Heritage month and Guzman’s departure was destined to stir up some controversy.
Today, the New York Association of Black Journalists put out a statement about Guzman’s departure, signed by the organization’s vice president of print Zachary R. Dowdy and president Gary Anthony Ramsay, saying they were “dismayed” by the news.
“We are further disturbed to hear the firing took place as the Post interviews candidates for a similar position at the paper’s city desk, which remains open,” the statement said, arguing Guzman should have been offered the opened job before being let go.
Their full statement, after the jump
Subject: NYABJ responds to NY Post editor firing.
Date: Thu, 08 Oct 2009
From: Gary Anthony Ramsay
Statement of the NY Association of Black Journalists on the NY Post firing of Sandra Guzman:
The New York Association of Black Journalists is dismayed by the dismissal of Ms. Sandra Guzman, who served as the editor of ‘Tempo’ and was only one of two managers of color at the New York Post. We are further disturbed to hear the firing took place as the Post interviews candidates for a similar position at the paper’s city desk, which remains open. If financial reasons were the only motive for Ms. Guzman’s departure then at the very least it seems, she would have been offered an opportunity to move to that available spot. This did not happen and no such offer was made before she was shown the door.
We do remember that Ms. Guzman was the only manager at the New York Post to express objections over the now infamous “monkey shootingâ€ cartoon at the publication several months ago. It is our hope that this job action is not some delayed reprisal for her position, which was later shared by the paperâ€™s owner, Rupert Murdoch.
There is an industry-wide concern the current economic crisis affecting newsrooms everywhere is being used as a cover for politically-motivated dismissals. We ask that News Corporation, the parent company of the New York Post, take a look at this situation. They have said to us they are committed to diversity. Firing a qualified and experienced editor of color when a comparable position is open does not seem to fit that mission statement.
Zachary R. Dowdy
NYABJ VP Print
Gary Anthony Ramsay