Accuracy in Media

HuffPost’s new commentary editor took to Twitter Wednesday to let us know she has things on the right track.

“Month two of @HuffPost Opinion is almost done,” tweeted Chloe Angyal, who moved up from associate editor. “This month we published: 63% women, inc. trans women; 53% writers of color.”

This set off a flurry of tweets as Angyal detailed how she is turning the opinion section of the website into a polyglot.

“Our goals for this month were: less than 50 percent white authors (check!), Asian representation that matches or exceeds the US population (check!), more trans and non-binary authors (check, but I want to do better).

Not all was rosy.

“We also wanted to raise Latinx representation to match or exceed the US population. We didn’t achieve that goal, but we’re moving firmly in the right direction.”

It wasn’t easy, but HuffPost overcame by working together, she tweeted.

“Making the improvements we made took work, no doubt about it,” Angyal tweeted. “We all tapped our network and made moves to expand our collective Rolodex.”

Angyal said she checks “our numbers at the end of every week, because it’s easy to lose track or imagine you’re doing better than you really are, and the numbers don’t lie.”

 (The numbers also don’t tell the whole story – about disability, geography, socioeconomics and more).” But she doesn’t make clear what went untold.

A look at Angyal’s website reveals this was not out-of-character behavior for her. Angyal, who is from Sydney and tells readers “it’s pronounced ‘angel,’” bills herself as an expert on politics, popular culture, abortion access, gymnastics and classical ballet.

Under her popular cultural section, she links to a story she wrote about a study that showed romantic comedies teach women that stalking is a compliment and therefore perpetuates dangerous myths and makes it harder to prosecute stalkers.

She had not touched politics with her writing in the purest sense in some time. Her last story was July 2016 when she interviewed attendees at the Democratic National Convention about what they were going to do now that they’ve found out the Democrat Party had rigged the primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton. The story ends with her asking a 17-year-old girl what she is going to do now that Bernie has lost.

“I am going to college,” the girl tells her. “I want to study international relations. I’m really interested in the connections between people.”

The story on the “abortion access” section deals with problems abortion providers in Alabama are having aborting babies from mothers hooked on opioids.

Her last story under gymnastics also dates to 2016, when she wrote “Here’s the Real Reason We Love Watching Olympic Gymnastics.” The real reason, she wrote, is the “sport stretches our expectations about women’s bodies and women’s sports – but only so far as we’re comfortable.”

Angyal, who is white and hails from Australia, does not say why she undertook the goal of having more non-white authors, more Asians or more Latinx. She clearly seems to believe this will make the site better. She talks about the “improvements we made” and how it’s “easy to lose track or imagine you’re doing better than you really are.”

She says the numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story either. They also don’t explain why Angyal considers herself an expert in five fairly disparate topics but other white people should be less represented on op-ed pages so these “improvements” can take place.  

 




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