Journalist who broke story about Dyke March ban on Jews loses her job

The award-winning reporter has been moved to her publication’s sales department.


The journalist who first reported that Jewish women were asked to leave the Chicago Dyke March has been relieved of her reporting duties.

Gretchen Rachel Hammond, an award-winning reporter for the city’s LGBT newspaper Windy City Times, has been moved to the publication’s sales department.

Ms Hammond, who broke the news that three women were asked to leave the event because they were waving rainbow flags bearing the Star of David, is now looking for work elsewhere, it has been reported.

On the day, organisers approached a number of individuals, demanding that they either leave or take down the flags which they described as “offensive”. Organisers at the Chicago Dyke March Collective responded on social media that the women had been asked to leave for expressing support for Zionism.

In an interview with JTA this week, Ms Hammond would not confirm the motive behind her move, but said: “I’m still a part of the company, and it’s my only source of income. To keep what job I have, I can’t comment on it. As an employee of Windy City Times who has loved the company and loved her role in the company for the past four years, I have to respect my publisher’s decision.”

The paper’s publisher, Tracy Baim, confirmed that Ms Hammond had been moved, but would not elaborate. She said the paper’s editors “stand by our reporting by Gretchen and our other reporters on that story”.

Until a week ago Ms Hammond was described by the publication as a “senior writer”. She is now called a “senior account executive.”

Ms Hammond joined the Windy City Times as a reporter in 2013 and won the 2016 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association award for excellence in news writing. This year, she was a finalist for the second time for the Lisagor Award, which honours journalists in Chicago.

Ms Hammond’s last published story was on June 28 – four days after the Dyke March story broke. In it she interviewed Alexis Martinez, an activist for the Dyke March Collective, who argued that their actions had not been “antisemitic”.

When asked if the Dyke March Collective would apologise, Ms Martinez said: “We did nothing wrong. Those people who are asking us to apologize need to come up with facts. They need to have been there, on the ground and involved in the situation to have some validity.”

Both Windy City Times and the Dyke March Collective received threats in the weeks after the incident.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive