Culture

NPR chief editor is placed on leave after sexual harassment accusations

NPR chief editor is placed on leave after sexual harassment accusations”

The two women, who said they were motivated to come forward after watching NPR cover the harassment and sexual abuse claims against Harvey Weinstein that have proliferated since the beginning of the month, spoke to officials at NPR a couple of weeks ago.

Michael Oreskes joined NPR in 2015 after working at both the New York Times and the Associated Press. NPR reportedly told the women that they are looking into the allegations against the 63-year-old Oreskes.

NPR reported Tuesday that Oreskes was formally rebuked following a separate incident two years ago where a female producer complained she was made to feel uncomfortable after a dinner in which Oreskes talked about sex and inquired about her personal life.

NPR said in a statement Tuesday: "We take these kinds of allegations very seriously". We take all appropriate steps to assure a safe, comfortable, and productive work environment for everyone at NPR. "If a concern is raised, we review the matter promptly". The women said they came to NPR after the news organization's coverage of the scandal. The ladies shared similar stories with The Washington Post on the condition they remain anonymous for fear of losing future job prospects.

Executive editor of the International Herald Tribune Michael Oreskes speaks at the Al Jazeera Forum "Media and the Middle East - Beyond the Headlines" in Doha April 1, 2007.

The women allege Oreskes harassed them while working at the New York Times almost two decades ago, according to The Washington Post.

"The worst part of my whole encounter with Oreskes wasn't the weird offers of room service lunch or the tongue kiss but the fact that he utterly destroyed my ambition", she told the Post of the long-lasting effects of the encounter.

When asked for comment, AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton said the AP does not provide information on personnel matters.

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn sent a memo to staffers after the allegations surfaced Tuesday, and encouraged employees to report any incident of harassment "or other inappropriate behavior at NPR" to human resources or the legal team. "The AP is committed to maintaining a safe working environment and does not tolerate harassment of any kind".

The allegations are the most recent in a string of accusations against by women against men in media, including New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier and political journalist Mark Halperin.

Last week, The Atlantic's contributing editor Leon Wieseltier was sacked after multiple women reported they had been sexually harassed by him.



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