*It’s got to be a hard pill to swallow, getting fired from a job that you love. Those are hard to come by; especially if that job was in the prominent position of executive editor, at the prestigious New York Times. But if you thought Jill Abramson would be sitting at home weeping, just because this happened to her, think again.
Speaking to graduates of Wake Forest University at the commencement ceremony in Winston-Salem,N.C, Abramson told students, “Just like many of you. I’m a little scared.”
Abramson’s abrupt dismissal comes amid public claims of sexism by Times’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who is said to have let her colleagues know via a hastily called meeting.
The commencement speech is the first public event that Abramson has attended and spoken on the firing since it happened.
“Losing a job you love hurts,” she said. “But the work I revere, journalism that holds powerful institutions and people accountable, is what makes our democracy so resilient. This is the work I will remain very much a part of.”
She joked that she wasn’t unlike the newly minted graduates.
“What’s next for me? I don’t know,” she said. “So I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you! And like you, I’m a little scared, but also excited.”
Abramson was also asked by one of the students if leaving her job meant she would remove the signature “T” logo tattoo on her back, to which she replied.
“Not a chance.”
The former executive editor was replaced by Dean Baquet, the paper’s managing editor and the first African American to hold the position.
Dean is said to be regarded by colleagues at the Times as courageous and smart. They say that he makes newspapering seem like a grand endeavor.