On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal editorial board sent out ‘“A Note to Readers” vowing not to give in to cancel culture.
Earlier this week over 280 journalists, editors, and other employees at the Journal and their parent company Dow Jones criticized the Journal’s opinion section in a leaked letter to the Journal’s publisher Almar Latour, calling for better labeling of opinion pieces and stronger fact-checking of op-eds, specifically attacking the publication of a recent essay by Vice President Mike Pence on the coronavirus.
“Opinion’s lack of fact-checking and transparency, and its apparent disregard for evidence, undermine our readers’ trust and our ability to gain credibility with sources,” the staff’s letter read, while also demanding more coverage of race and inequality.
The “Note to Readers” said that people were responding to the leaked letter concerned that the Journal will move to change their “principles and content,” but the authors reassured readers the Journal “… won’t respond in kind to the letter signers”.
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“… the opinion pages will continue to publish contributors who speak their minds within the tradition of vigorous, reasoned discourse. And these columns will continue to promote the principles of free people and free markets, which are more important than ever in what is a culture of growing progressive conformity and intolerance.”
The Journal explained, “It was probably inevitable that the wave of progressive cancel culture would arrive at the Journal, as it has at nearly every other cultural, business, academic and journalistic institution.”
“But we are not the New York Times,” the editorial board wrote, taking a jab at their competitor and alluding to recent events at the Times, like the resignation of the editorial page editor after widespread criticism of an op-ed by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton and the very public resignation of New York Times editor Bari Weiss, who experienced harassment and bigotry at the Times for her centrist views.
The Journal defended their opinion page and its commitment to publishing a diversity of views writing, “Most Journal reporters attempt to cover the news fairly and down the middle, and our opinion pages offer an alternative to the uniform progressive views that dominate nearly all of today’s media.”