Gabriel Escobar is the new top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer
Escobar’s promotion comes five months after the paper’s “Buildings Matter, Too,” headline debacle.
Philadelphia’s paper of record has just named a new top editor after what’s been a tumultuous summer that kicked off with a resignation.
Gabriel Escobar, a Colombian, was announced to his new leadership position as top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Nov. 11, 2020, a little more than five months after former top editor, Stan Wischnowski, stepped down in the aftermath of the “Buildings Matter, Too” headline debacle that brought massive backlash from journalists of color inside and out of the Inquirer newsroom.
The headline came amid the uprisings sweeping the country in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer, and was interpreted by many to equate Black lives to that of property.
Inquirer journalists of color responded by signing a letter of contempt directed at the publication’s leadership and taking a day off in protest.
It will be the 64-year-old Escobar’s job to make sure they never have to go to such lengths to be heard again, and to expand their number of voices.
He first came to the U.S. from Colombia at the age of seven and knew no English. Escobar’s journey in the news began back as a paperboy for the Long Island Express in the early 1970s.
Professionally, he reported at newspapers in Queens, New York, North Jersey, and Hartford, Connecticut before arriving in Philadelphia at the Daily News.
After, he spent 16 years at the Washington Post before returning to the City of Brotherly Love to be the city editor at the Inquirer. Escobar left again in 2011 to go to the Dallas Morning News, and then returned as a deputy managing editor before rising to his current position.
Since 2017, he had been the newsroom’s second-in-command. With his promotion, he is one of the highest-ranking Latinos at a major U.S. newspaper.