Green Bay, Wis.
— The Green Bay Press Gazette, which has run the “rape” section of its paper for years, has fired its news editor for using the term “rape,” The Associated Press has learned.
The Gazette’s news editor, Jeff Johnson, was not immediately available for comment.
The decision follows complaints from women in the newspaper that Johnson’s use of the term was offensive.
It is unclear if Johnson had any previous experience as an editor in journalism.
The use of rape in the news section came in the fall of 2015, shortly after the publication of an Associated Press investigation that found widespread abuse in the city’s police department.
The newspaper’s decision to fire Johnson, whose title includes a quotation from an Associated Newspapers “editor-in-chief” that says “rape is bad” in a section entitled “Policing in Wisconsin,” came as part of an effort by the Gazette to make some changes.
A few weeks after the AP story came out, Johnson resigned from the newspaper.
In a letter to staff, he wrote, “I am deeply ashamed to have made this mistake.”
The Gazette said Johnson’s resignation was due to “personal reasons,” but it was not clear how.
In the wake of the AP investigation, the newspaper published a statement calling for “real and effective changes to our current and former newsroom practices and procedures.”
The newspaper also said it had “reached out to several individuals to provide guidance on our newsroom culture.”
A spokeswoman for the Gazette did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
Johnson’s firing follows a similar incident in November when the paper fired a reporter for using a different term in describing the rape of a woman.
The paper’s news director, Michelle Evers, had used the term rape in a column in late September.
The Globe Herald in Wisconsin had employed the same reporter and fired her after she was charged with criminal sexual conduct in a case involving a former employee.
The AP’s report, published Friday, said the alleged victim was an AP employee in the department in 2015.
Johnson, who had worked at the newspaper since 2008, said in a statement to The Associated News that he was “shocked and saddened” by the AP’s allegations.
He said he had “done nothing wrong and will not tolerate any such behavior from anyone.”