New York Times Opens Leak Investigation Over Israel-Gaza Reporting

The paper has questioned its staff about the Intercept’s report that the Times shelved an episode of “The Daily” podcast covering Hamas’ use of sexual violence following Oct. 7

The New York Times Building in Manhattan.
The New York Times building in Manhattan. (Credit: Getty Images)

The New York Times is launching a leak investigation after The Intercept published a report that the Times shelved an episode of “The Daily” podcast about sexual violence committed by Hamas on Oct. 7. Information about freelancers who worked on the original reporting stirred controversy at the publication. 

Management at the Times has been investigating how the information was leaked to The Intercept, according to a report from Vanity Fair. They’ve pulled staffers, including “The Daily” producers, into closed meetings as they investigate their own staff. 

According to Vanity Fair’s report, the Times’ director of policy and internal investigations Charlotte Behrendt is spearheading the investigation.

In January, The Intercept reported that the Times had shelved the episode about Hamas’ use of sexual violence on Oct. 7 after an intense internal debate about the original reporting. 

The original piece was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Gettleman and freelancers Anat Schwartz and Adam Sella. The article argued that Hamas had systematically used sexual violence as a part of the attack on Oct. 7. 

It is unusual for the Times to conduct an investigation of this nature on their own staff.

The coverage of the Israel-Hamas war has been a source of tension for the media industry, with many newsrooms grappling with the fog of war and the framing of the conflict. 

The Times drew criticism after reporting a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza in October, placing blame on Israel. However, the newspaper later issued a rare editors’ note saying it “relied too heavily on claims by Hamas, and did not make clear that those claims could not immediately be verified.”

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