NPR's head of the news division was forced to resign after two women accused him of sexual harassment. Michael Oreskes admitted his failings in a statement:
“I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt. My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility.”
Soon after, NPR's chief executive, Jarl Mohn, announced a medical leave:
“As many of you know, last March, I suffered a nearly fatal ruptured aorta. I returned to work with the blessing of my physician with one important caveat — I cannot allow my blood pressure to rise. Regretfully, the hypertension has returned to a dangerous level.”
Mohn said he noticed other issues with Oreskes, for example, inappropriate expense reporting, and took some responsibility for the impact of Oreskes' behavior:
“In retrospect, I did not see the bigger pattern of poor judgment and unacceptable behavior. I am sorry, and I have learned from this.”
The news hit the industry hard, partly because we rely on reporters' integrity, particularly when allegations of "fake news" are common on both sides of the political aisle.
- Should we have higher standards for news reporters? Why or why not?
- Did Mohn do the right thing by resigning? What are the arguments on both sides of his decision?