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Editor in Chief of The Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg attends the 2018 Ellie Awards in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for The Association of Magazine Media)

War of words

Atlantic editor apologizes for seeming to suggest that only white males can write cover stories

By WITW Staff on June 10, 2019

The editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, has clarified and apologized for remarks that drew heavy criticism when he appeared to suggest that only white men can write 10,000-word cover stories.

He made the controversial remarks in a Nieman Lab article on how the magazine has placed more women in editorial positions, The Guardian reports. Goldberg stumbled in the interview when he seemed to insinuate that assigning cover stories to women and minorities is problematic.

“We continue to have a problem with the print magazine cover stories — with the gender and race issues when it comes to cover story writing. It’s really, really hard to write a 10,000-word cover story. There are not a lot of journalists in America who can do it. The journalists in America who do it are almost exclusively white males,” he said.

His remarks sparked fire on social media.

“If Jeffrey Goldberg thinks there’s a lack of women who can write 10k word features, then he’s astonishingly ignorant about his peers & he should step aside for a woman to replace him,” wrote one editor, Lisa Goldman, on Twitter.

Goldberg later clarified his remarks on Twitter, saying, “I was trying to explain (and obviously failed to explain) that white males dominate cover-story writing because they’ve had all the opportunities.”

Of the 15 print issues The Atlantic has published since January 2018, 11 had cover stories written by men, according to Nieman Lab.

Goldberg later followed up again with an apology: “I’m sorry I didn’t make myself clear in this interview, and I’m sorry that I hurt anyone.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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