News & Politics

The Washington Post Has Offered to Pay for Suspended Reporter’s Hotel and Security Detail

One of the Guild's signs.

The Washington Post has offered to cover the cost of Felicia Sonmez’s hotel and for a security detail for the reporter, who says she received death threats after she tweeted an article about sexual assault allegations regarding Kobe Bryant after he died. The update comes in the form of a bulletin from the Washington Post Newspaper Guild. The Post suspended Sonmez, and this offer came “nearly 24 hours after Felicia first reported receiving threats,” the union writes.

The Guild says it plans a meeting with management Tuesday to discuss “how we move forward.” In the meantime it has printed signs that say PROTECTING EMPLOYEES PROTECTS THE INSTITUTION AND encourages staffers to hang them at their desks. “It is heartening to see all of you stand up for a colleague when the company won’t,” the union says.

The New York Times reported Monday that Post Executive Editor Martin Baron ordered Sonmez to delete her tweets: “A real lack of judgment to tweet this. Please stop. You’re hurting this institution by doing this,” Rachel Abrams reports Baron wrote Sonmez in an email. In a statement yesterday, the Guild said management previously placed a warning letter in Sonmez’s file “for violating The Post’s vague and inconsistently enforced social media guidelines,” apparently a reference to the time she wrote a letter Sonmez wrote to the Atlantic last October, which she tweeted about.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.

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