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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A slew of high-level resignations from top news editors over the past week shows how much pressure the current racial protests is putting on media companies to confront their own shortcomings on diversity and on covering race issues.

Driving the news: Top editors at Bon Appétit, Refinery29, The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer have all resigned in the past week due to their handling of sensitive stories about race, the Black Lives Matter protests, or newsroom culture.

  • Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport resigned on Monday after a picture surfaced of he and his wife wearing brownface. Rapoport also faced pressure from women who spoke out on social media about a culture of discrimination at the magazine under his leadership against women of color.
  • Refinery29's co-founder and editor-in-chief Christene Barberich announced Monday that she is stepping down from her role as editor-in-chief following allegations from former employees of workplace discrimination against black women.
  • The New York Times' opinion editor James Bennet resigned Sunday, days after widespread internal and external criticism over his decision to green-light an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that called on President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests over the death of George Floyd.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer's longtime top editor Stan Wischnowski, stepped down Saturday, soon after the company was slammed for publishing an article with the headline "Buildings Matter, too" prompting dozens to stage a virtual walkout at the company.

The big picture: The protests have forced many media companies to seriously reckon with their own policies around newsroom diversity and coverage of race issues for the first time.

  • The last time the industry faced such a reckoning around internal policies was during the #MeToo era, which saw the departures of dozens of top-level news bosses after stories became more prominent about the way white men in power undermined female subordinates.

Go deeper: Four fiascos for mainstream media

Go deeper

National Enquirer CEO David Pecker to step down in merger

David Pecker. Photo: Francois Durand/Getty Images

David Pecker is stepping down as CEO of American Media Inc., to adopt an advisory role in the parent company of the National Enquirer as it enters a merger, per a Friday release.

The big picture: Pecker, an influential tabloid media figure, has led the company since 1999 and helped orchestrate "catch and kill" deals between two women who claimed to have past affairs with President Trump, the New York Times reports. Trump has denied the affairs.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

Driving the news: James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

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