LA Times bans 38 of its journalists from reporting on Gaza after they sign open letter critical of coverage

At the Los Angeles Times, 38 journalists were banned from covering Gaza for a minimum of three months after signing an open letter about biased coverage of the Israel-Hamas war. The letter, "We condemn Israel's killing of journalists in Gaza and urge integrity in Western media coverage of Israel's atrocities against Palestinians," was signed by 1,265 media workers and called upon newsrooms to refrain from "dehumanising rhetoric that has served to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians." The letter states that as journalists, "This is [their] job: to hold power to account", and that partiality in recent coverage has not allowed them to do their jobs.

In response, the LA times stated that the letter violated their ethics policy, which has no prohibition against open letters. Writers for the LA Times have expressed political opinions publicly in the past and not been punished for it.

LA Public Press: "LA Times workers demanded better Gaza coverage and condemned Israel's killing of journalists—their bosses punished them"

A review of the Times ethics policy by LA Public Press confirms that there is no prohibition of open letters explicitly stated in the policy. In the past, LA Times journalists have signed open letters without reprisal, including a 2021 letter also criticizing coverage of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, as well as a letter from the LA Times Black Caucus in 2020 criticizing the treatment of Black journalists at the paper, and its coverage of "the movement for Black lives." LA Times journalists also frequently express political opinions in public, including on Twitter (now X), without any punishment.