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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.

Dave Lawler, author of World
13 mins ago - World

Biden's blinking red lights: Taiwan, Ukraine and Iran

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Russia is menacing Ukraine’s borders, China is sending increasingly ominous signals over Taiwan and Iran is accelerating its uranium enrichment to unprecedented levels.

The big picture: Ukraine, Taiwan and Iran’s nuclear program always loomed large on the menu of potential crises President Biden could face. But over the last several days, the lights have been blinking red on all three fronts all at once.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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