After the post supporting Palestinians has been deleted from IGN, staff members penned an open letter to management. Dozens of journalists are now demanding to re-publish the piece.
On May 18, IGN staff published the letter to Ziff Davis and its parent company J2 Global. More than 70 authors have already signed the appeal.
IGN employees noted that they just wanted to offer their readers ways to support charities that help victims, and that’s why these efforts “should not be controversial.” They also stated that the leadership hasn’t informed them about their plans to remove the post, which was done in the early morning on a weekend.
According to the staff members, these actions are harmful to IGN’s reputation and are disrespectful to its content team. They also think that the management can’t make statements on behalf of the journalists, like it did on May 17.
— IGN (@IGN) May 17, 2021
That’s why IGN employees requested an all-hands meeting with J2 Global and Ziff Davis representatives, demanding the original piece to be back on the website. “We have come to understand that this was a clear instance of corporate overreach and demonstrated blatant disregard for the most basic standards of journalistic integrity and editorial independence,” the letter reads.
Screenshot of IGN’s original post
IGN’s now-deleted post appeared on May 14 in the wake of the latest aggravation of the Palestinian-Israel conflict. The publication added a Palestinian flag to its logo and took an unambiguous position, urging its readers to support a few charities to help Palestinians. As a result, it caused a huge resonance online, and the post was deleted from the website a day and a half after.
IGN Israel later reacted to the piece on Facebook, saying it knew nothing about plans of its American colleagues. It also supported the Israeli government and eventually deleted the post.
Gene Park from Washington Post wrote that the owners “overtly silenced their own journalists,” calling it a “blatant breach of contract.” Jason Schreier also said that this is “corporate censorship of an editorial outlet,” with no regard to what people may think of the conflict between two countries.
No matter one’s feelings on Israel and Palestine, it’s hard to see this as anything but corporate censorship of an editorial outlet. Solidarity with the staff of IGN as they band together to take on executive interference: https://t.co/VB5K4A2Wci
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 18, 2021