The New Times has finally acknowledged that it’s no longer the only newspaper to have a white woman as its digital editor.
“The Times does not have a single person of color as its Digital Editor,” the paper’s editors told The Times.
“This has been an issue for years.”
In a memo to its staff published Friday, the Times said that it had changed its policy after an internal review found that “in many ways, we were a more inclusive, inclusive, and diverse paper when we hired Karen Straughan as our first digital editor in 2009.”
“As the digital world has evolved, so has our approach to diversity,” the memo said.
“We wanted to give Karen a second chance, and we think that her experience and qualifications will be a valuable asset for our digital team as we build on the diversity we already have.”
Straughach, who was the lead editor on the New York Post’s digital news operation for three years, was brought on as digital editor on a temporary basis in September 2017 to bolster the paper with more diverse voices, the paper said.
“Karen was the first woman and the first African American woman to hold a digital news job in our history,” the Times’ newsroom’s executive editor, Ben Schreckinger, wrote in the memo.
“As she grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, she grew to understand the importance of a diverse newsroom.
She was instrumental in creating a vibrant community in the newsroom.”
The Times said Strauach’s new role will include “broadening the digital lens, bringing in a diverse team, and addressing issues that have become critical to our success,” as well as expanding coverage of women, people of color, and LGBT people.
“She will be our first African-American and first female digital editor, as well a first female African-Caribbean editor, and a first trans woman in digital news,” the report said.
The Times acknowledged that “the decision to hire Karen as Digital Editor is not an easy one,” but it said that “Karen’s record speaks for itself,” adding that she will “continue to have an impact as we strive to improve the digital experience for our readers, our writers, and our journalists.”
“We are proud of her accomplishments, and will continue to have her as our Digital Editor, and her leadership of our newsroom,” the editorial board wrote.
“Her ability to work with an incredible team will serve us well going forward.”
The paper has a long history of hiring women to work in newsrooms and has had a mixed record of diversity, with a few notable exceptions.
In 2013, it hired an African American to lead its newsroom, but it later rescinded the hire after she was found to have “inappropriate behavior and attitudes,” the New Republic reported.
In 2016, the newspaper hired a woman to lead digital news for its Washington bureau, but she later left the company amid allegations of sexual harassment.
This article originally appeared on New York Magazine.