An award-winning New York Times Magazine writer, Jazmine Hughes, resigned from her position on Friday. The resignation came after she signed a letter criticizing Israel’s military action against Hamas in Gaza.
Jazmine Hughes was not only a writer but had previously worked as an editor for the New York Times Magazine. Her signature on the “Writers Against the War on Gaza” petition, which characterizes Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza as a “genocide,” became a point of contention.
Jake Silverstein, the editor of the magazine, officially announced Hughes’ resignation in a staff message on Friday. He stated that Hughes’ decision to sign the letter went against The Times’s policy on public protest. He emphasized that upholding this policy is a significant aspect of their dedication to journalistic independence.
Hughes had previously joined other Times staff in signing a letter protesting the publication’s coverage of transgender issues, which was met with criticism from the Times’ leadership. In light of these developments, Silverstein and Hughes had a discussion about her public stance and participation in protests, ultimately agreeing that it was incompatible with her role as a journalist at The Times. As a result, Hughes chose to resign.
Despite this controversy, Hughes declined to provide a comment to The Times regarding her resignation.
Another contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Jamie Lauren Keiles, who also signed the “Writers Against the War on Gaza” petition, declared on Friday that he would no longer contribute to the publication. Keiles, who identifies as Jewish, expressed that his affiliation with The Times was negatively impacting his work.
In a post on an unspecified platform, Keiles shared that he felt increasingly burdened by inquiries related to what he perceived as subpar coverage of topics such as Black Lives Matter, transgender issues, and Israel. While he expressed admiration for his editors and the support he received, he ultimately decided that the institution was hindering rather than enhancing his work.
Keiles clarified that his departure was a personal choice driven by his desire to pursue specific kinds of work. Despite the controversy, he stood by his decision to sign the “Writers Against the War on Gaza” letter and expressed hope for a free Palestine in the future.