It’s one thing to fire someone for managing employees poorly. But when the employees she managed resign in solidarity with her, that’s a pretty strong indicator that she wasn’t managing them poorly.

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It sounds like Julia’s co-founders objected to the way she was managing the nonprofit, not the way she managed her employees. They were concerned that she was taking too long to hire employees and get the site up and running.

Even if that’s true, the solution wasn’t to fire her!

If Gardner & Larson really believed that they had to make decisions without waiting for Angwin, they could have gone ahead and made those decisions. They could have let Angwin focus more on working with her reporters than on institutional stuff. But they didn’t have to fire her!

These sorts of internecine battles and institutional politics and disagreements or whatever are not uncommon and there are ways to resolve them that don’t involve torching your newsroom and destroying your journalistic credibility.

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