UNC Declining To Grant Tenure to Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones Sparks Backlash

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University of North Carolina decision not to approve MacArthur “Genius Grant” and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, Nicole Hannah-Jones There has been a backlash from both academic and media circles for his tenure at the school.

Jones, who developed and led groundbreaking 1619 project For The New York Times Magazine On the institution and legacy of slavery for which he won the Pulitzer, he was appointed as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the UNC. She was set to start as a professor in July, while remaining with him Times magazine. But instead of a tenure position, he was given only a five-year contract with the option to review, According to times.

Conservative criticism on 1819 project Reportedly affected The university’s decision to reject the approval of Hannah-Jones’s term, according to NC Policy Watch, A political surveillance website. When his hiring announcement was made in April, vocal elements mocked his work on the project with some people joining his faculty, calling it “Political movement” While other right-wing elements destroyed it to be “Mistakes.”

Both times And Hannah-Jones has publicly defended the project since it began in 2019. But according to times, The state legislature of North Carolina, which is Republican-controlled, appoints the board of governors of the state university system, which has a major influence on UNC’s board of trustees.

related: The New York Times’ 1619 project about slavery criticizes those who want to bury its legacy

The university has not commented on the decision except for a statement by a UNC spokesperson Joan Peters Denny, Which states that “details of individual faculty recruitment processes are personnel-protected information,” The Times reports.

But faculty members were not happy with the decision, with many saying that Hannah-Jones was certainly eligible for the term and that there is no reason she shouldn’t have it, noting that the last two people in the position were awarded it it was done.

“Failure to tenure Nicole Hanna-Jones in her role as Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism is a departure from the traditional process of the UNC and precedes the previous tenure of night chairs at our school with full professor appointments.” Read an online statement From 43 faculty members and 215 additional signatories. “This failure is particularly disappointing because it took place as a full professor with tenures by the Husman Dean, Husman faculty, and the university, despite support for the appointment of Hannah-Jones. Hannah-Jones’s distinguished record in journalism over 20 years Surpasses expectations for a stint as a Knight Chair in race and investigative journalism.

In addition, the National Association of Black Journalists, which was named the Hannah-Jones Journalist of the Year in 2015, said it reached out to UNC officials about its refusal to grant her term and was angered That conservative skepticism on the 1619 project may be behind. this.

NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said, “If the speculation is correct, we condemn any decision to reject the tenure of a distinguished journalist because he has done his job by reporting facts about slavery in America.” in a statement. “The university must be sending a message to its students that it does not support the freedom of the press and that searching for and reporting the truth is not a pillar that believes it should be part of our profession, and that blacks Journalists, or anyone else’s work, is unfit to expose the evils of slavery and its impact on America. “

Hanna-Jones, a UNC alumnus who earned a master’s degree at its Hassman School of Journalism and Media in 2003, did not directly react to the school’s decision, but tweeted Thursday thanking her supporters.

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