To our fellow newsrooms: stop surrendering to online attacks on your reporters

Reporters and editors watch news of the Pulitzer prizes in the newsroom of the Washington Post, in Washington, DC.

Photo by Bill O’Leary / The Washington Post via Getty Images

In 2018, a reporter at The Verge was viciously mobbed by bad faith attacks in an attempt to discredit her as she moved to a prestigious job at The New York Times. While we did not say it directly at the time, we were dismayed that the Times partially yielded to the targeted harassment of an incoming reporter by accusing her of “serving to feed the vitriol” of online discourse. As then-managing editor of The Verge, I wrote an editorial note that was signed by our entire leadership team, declaring that our newsroom would not be cowed by the tactics of Gamergate and other malevolent online movements meant to intimidate journalists and their newsrooms.

We were glad to see the positive response to our note from others in the industry. But…

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