Until recently, I was a director of data science at Thomson Reuters, one of the biggest news organizations in the world. It was my job, among other things, to sift through reams of numbers and figure out what they meant.
About a year ago, I stumbled on a really big story. It was about black Americans being gunned down across the country and the ways in which we report on that violence. We had been talking nonstop about race and police brutality, and I thought: This is a story that could save lives. This is a story that has to be told.
But when I shared the story with my coworkers, my boss chastised me, telling me expressing this opinion could limit my ability to take on leadership roles within the company. Then I was maligned by my colleagues. And then I was fired.
This is the story Reuters didn’t want to tell.
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A decade ago, my experience at Thomson Reuters would have been unthinkable. Most Americans probably think it’s still unthinkable. That’s what makes it so dangerous. Most of us don’t understand how deeply compromised our news sources have become. Most of us have no idea that we are suffused with fictions and half-truths that sound sort of believable and are shielded from scrutiny by people whose job is to challenge them. This is true, above all, of my fellow liberals, who assume that only Republicans complain about the mainstream media. But this is not a partisan issue. This is a We The People issue.
In January, I filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination stating that I was fired in retaliation for complaining about a racially hostile work environment. (The MCAD works in conjunction with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.) We’ll see whether the state finds that there are grounds for a lawsuit.
However that shakes out will not change the fact that thousands of black Americans are dead, in part because too many people are still unaware of basic facts about policing since their trusted news sources meticulously obscure the truth. The job of journalists is to report the stories that don’t comport with the prevailing or popular narrative. We desperately need them to do that again.
Odd that this sort of leftist religious zealotry would happen at Reuters, who assured us in the wake of 9/11 that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Read the whole thing.