Tensions Build In NPR Newsroom Over Handling Of Sexual Harassment Allegations

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn speaks to an Associated Press contributor in 2015.

Alex Brandon/AP

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Alex Brandon/AP

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn speaks to an Associated Press contributor in 2015.

Alex Brandon/AP

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn apologized to hurt staffers in a quarrelsome assembly Friday afternoon even as additional women indicted a network’s former tip news executive of intimately badgering them.

“I’ve let we down,” Mohn said, according to people present. “I should have acted progressing and we should have acted some-more forcefully.”

Mohn conceded Friday he had not taken warning signs in prior years and prior days exceedingly enough. Only on Tuesday — once The Washington Post published dual accusations from unnamed women dating behind scarcely dual decades — did Mohn postpone NPR’s comparison clamp president, Michael Oreskes.

NPR's Head Of News Resigns Following Harassment Allegations

Mohn forced Oreskes to renounce a subsequent day, after we also reported that Rebecca Hersher, afterwards a 26-year-old partner producer, had filed a grave censure of passionate nuisance in Oct 2015. She purported that Oreskes had converted a work review about her end to turn a contributor into a drawn-out cooking over a bottle of wine, with extended scrutiny of her personal life.

It wasn’t a usually inner red flag. Two maestro editors told me they alone approached NPR’s tellurian resources dialect in late Sep 2016. In obligatory conversations they conveyed that so many reporters were endangered about Oreskes’ diagnosis of women that they warned new womanlike staffers to keep their distance. In apart interviews, any told me they had told NPR’s HR officials that Oreskes had combined a poisonous workplace in a newsroom.

(One of a editors also told me of carrying conveyed concerns to a comparison network lawyer; a other reported revelation a comparison news executive, who replied that a matter was being investigated.)

Neither had specific instances they could indicate to, and both pronounced that their colleagues’ perceptions were done by Hersher’s experiences. One, however, told NPR’s tellurian resources dialect that a second co-worker competence have been tormented by Oreskes as well.

In Oct 2016, only a few weeks later, a lady told NPR that Oreskes had forcibly sought to lick her in a late 1990s, when he was a Washington business arch during The New York Times. A few weeks ago a second lady lodged a apart and identical complaint. At that time, Mohn told staffers on Friday, executives started to take action, and sensitive a management and clamp management of a network’s house of directors.

“The Times takes all allegations of passionate nuisance exceedingly and we are looking into it,” pronounced a mouthpiece for The New York Times. “We’re not wakeful of other complaints.”

A miss of trust in stating mechanisms and leadership

At a assembly on Friday, Mohn reliable that objections had been lifted generally in Sep 2016. The CEO also concurred he did not postpone or reject Oreskes until shortly after a Post‘s story ran, citing a dual unnamed women accusing Oreskes of badgering them as they sought pursuit opportunities during the Times.

NPR executives announced a event on Friday to be off a record, observant they wanted to concede womanlike employees to share personal accounts if they wished. (At slightest dual women did so, according to people present.) As a result, we did not attend a all-staff meeting, so we relied on a accounts of 6 people who did attend as a basement of my stating on a meeting.

A ask from Mohn to staff on Oct. 20 to news any incidents of inapt function yielded no petrify responses. Some people during a assembly told Mohn that was since they did not trust they would be taken seriously. In new days, Mohn acknowledged, 5 other women have filed new grave complaints opposite Oreskes with NPR. At a session, dual womanlike staffers told Mohn they no longer devoted him to lead a network.

Nine women have oral to me about their practice with Oreskes, on condition their names not be done public. Several still work during NPR. The incidents camber a decade, involving women in their 20s, 30s and 50s. Their interactions with Oreskes mostly started with an proceed on amicable media — private messages on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Some of those messages were recorded and shown to me. In several cases they began politely and turn presumptuously intimate.

Each lady spoke to me separately, though many gave closely coinciding accounts of how conversations on mentoring fast incited personal, and carried implications of intrigue or sex. Two women pronounced they motionless not to pursue jobs during NPR as a outcome of Oreskes’ behavior. Others pronounced they refused to be alone with him.

Women report Oreskes’ settlement of pressure

Some of a incidents, in isolation, competence not seem consequential. They do not arise to a turn of astringency of a allegations opposite Harvey Weinstein, a late Roger Ailes or Bill O’Reilly, who are among a many scandalous media total indicted of badgering women. Yet taken together, a allegations involving Oreskes paint an meaningful design of a executive peaceful to abuse his management to take advantage of younger women in a margin of journalism.

Here are 6 examples:

In 2007, a lady afterwards in her late 20s says she sought practice during a New York Times-owned International Herald-Tribune, where Oreskes was executive editor. In conversations by email, in chairman and by phone, she said, it valid unfit to keep a tinge professional. She quelled her hopes and stayed away.

In 2011, a freelancer afterwards in her late 30s who has created for The New York Times, NPR and other vital outlets says Oreskes followed intimately charged conversations online with her, including some we have seen. She showed me an emailed warning she sent to an NPR editor when Oreskes’ appointment was announced in early 2015: “INTERNS WATCH OUT.”

An NPR reporter, afterwards 25, told me she called Oreskes in Aug 2016 to speak about improving her station when offering a pursuit to go elsewhere. After she told Oreskes she was about to revisit a relations in Connecticut, he invited her for drinks during his family’s beachhouse there, suggesting they could continue a review over wine. She did not follow up, and kept her stretch afterward.

Also final year, a former NPR editor in her 30s says she was was pressured by Oreskes to accommodate for cooking after she asked for career guidance. She had been meddlesome in exploring a second army during NPR as well. The then-NPR news arch done transparent after a end of a cooking that he had all night to spend with her. She motionless not to request to NPR, and says she found a knowledge bewildering as she attempted to arrange out either what she had gifted was truly passionate harassment.

An NPR writer in her 50s removed a impulse progressing this year when Oreskes placed his open palm on her stomach as he upheld by, in what she deliberate a strong, slow caress.

This past summer, an impoverished promote publisher in her 30s says she perceived messages from Oreskes on Facebook and that he kept pulling for drinks and dinners. She resolved that such socializing was a cost of his mentoring, though suspicion it inappropriate. She says he asked her about past relationships, told her he would tumble defunct meditative of her, and one night walked her home. She returned to her unit alone and motionless opposite requesting to NPR since there would be an expectancy of a earthy involvement. “I knew it was heading in that direction,” she told me. “I didn’t wish to go there for a job.”

“Our goal was honorable. The execution was poor.”

These episodes, with one exception, were not reported to NPR’s HR dialect before a past few days.

Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Threat To Victims, A Quandary For Bystanders

However, many women during a all-staff assembly Friday told Mohn he had had some-more than adequate information to act on earlier.

According to attendees, Mohn pronounced he and a network’s arch counsel, Jonathan Hart, sat down with Oreskes final month to plead a dual comparison allegations from his reign during The New York Times. Because many of a inner warnings centered around rumor, rather than specific incidents, NPR’s care did not feel it could act some-more severely, Mohn said. It had no petrify explanation he had overstepped a bounds articulated after a reprove stemming from a inner censure filed in Oct 2015.

In that way, Mohn said, he hewed too closely to authorised discipline and did not sufficient take into comment a tellurian repercussions.

“Our goal was honorable,” Mohn said. “The execution was poor. It didn’t work.”

Mohn affianced to work to reconstruct a trust of his employees, and asked for their assist in repair the culture.