In a continuing trend of journalists having to report on people within their own organization accused of sexual misconduct, NPR reports that Chief News Editor David Sweeney has “left” in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
NPR quotes an email sent to its own staff by Chris Turpin, acting senior vice president of news:
“David Sweeney is no longer on staff. This is a difficult time for our newsroom and I’m committed to supporting all of you as we move forward. I know you appreciate that there are some questions I cannot answer in keeping with our practice to not comment on personnel issues, but I will do my best to address those I can.
Senior manager Edith Chapin will assume the executive editor duties that Sweeney held.
NPR began an effort to make dealing with sexual harassment more transparent after another of its editors was also accused: Editorial director Michael Oreskes resigned after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. NPR has encouraged its employees to come forward with any details of misconduct, and this was perhaps what led to the accusations against Sweeney.
Multiple women, including NPR editor Lauren Hodges, alleged that Sweeney made unwanted advances on them, sometimes during meetings ostensibly to talk about their careers, with multiple accounts of non-consensual kissing and attention. Hodges says she kept receiving unsolicited gifts from Sweeney while working there.
She says she’s pleased with the outcome. “I hope it provides a loud, clear message to anyone struggling with harassment … and more importantly, to those who think they can get away with it.”