Guardian editor says ‘failures in editorial processes’ led to publication of ‘antisemitic cartoon’

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Guardian editor says ‘failures in editorial processes’ led to publication of ‘antisemitic cartoon’

In an email to Guardian editorial staff Katharine Viner says last weekend's Martin Rowson cartoon was 'completely unacceptable' and contained 'a number of offensive antisemitic tropes'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The Guardian, Martin Rowson's anti semitic cartoon of Richard Sharp.
The Guardian, Martin Rowson's anti semitic cartoon of Richard Sharp.

Guardian editor Katharine Viner has emailed staff at the newspaper confirming “failures in our editorial processes” following the publication of what she described as “a completely unacceptable cartoon” which contained “a number of offensive antisemitic tropes.”

In an email, sent on Wednesday to the entire editorial team in response to cartoonist Martin Rowson’s widely condemned antisemitic sketch, Viner confirmed she had been “working in the US” when the cartoon was published last Saturday.

Viner added:”As soon as I saw the cartoon on Saturday morning I decided with senior editors that we should remove it from our website.”

Katherine Viner

In her email, sent at 16.09pm, she added:”I know many colleagues were as shocked and upset as I was by the cartoon – there is no place for this type of image in the Guardian.”

Viner then praised an article written by the Community Security Trust’s Dave Rich, following the widespread outcry over Rowson’s cartoon, drawn in response to BBC chair Richard Sharp’s resignation.

The “problems” with the cartoon, wrote Viner, were “laid out well” in “antisemitism expert” Rich’s subsequent article.

She added:”The publication of this cartoon highlights failures in our editorial processes which we are determined to address.”

Viner said she and the editorial team were working on “changes” that she said would ensure “something like this won’t happen again.”

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