Mirada StaffThe death of newspaper has been discussed for years as the Information Age continues to prosper. The transition from print to online has barely begun and already took a hit this year: in January alone, more than 1,000 people in the media industry lost their jobs.
Newspapers have been declining, but these layoffs were mostly digital. Large companies like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed blame Google and Facebook for stealing readers. Their duopoly has conquered the online advertising market causing media sources to lose revenue.
Buzzfeed made headlines when it announced it was laying off 15 percent of its staff. The owner of Buzzfeed doesn’t allow unions, so there wasn’t much the journalists could do to prevent this. The National Security Desk had only been in existence for a little over a year and was completely eliminated. The CEO offered to bring in support dogs the following Monday to help the remaining staff grieve the loss of their coworkers.
At Huffington Post, 20 employees were laid-off and their parent company, Verizon Media, let go of seven percent of its staff. The cuts at Huffington Post were comprised of the opinion and health staff as well as Pulitzer Prize winners.
Verizon Media had nearly $4 billion in tax breaks this last year and promised to share the success with its workers, yet the major cuts suggest otherwise.
Newsrooms nationwide were affected by the cuts. Papers like The Arizona Republic, The Coloradoan and The Record had an estimated 400 layoffs.
Refinery29 had around 40 cuts and Super Deluxe was forced to shut down completely.
Following the announcement of these layoffs, social media exploded. News outlets around the country posted about their job openings and asked for the journalists looking for work to direct message them. Tweets were sent from outlets like The LA Times and The Associated Press offering positions as editors, reporters, media consultants and more.
Journalists were even posting their credentials and resumes hoping for someone to respond with an opening. These people ranged from heads of their old departments to award-winning writers and Pulitzer Prize winners.
The community came together to support each other, but more cuts are expected. As Google and Facebook continue to dominate the news cycle, online media will continue to shrink leaving readers to have to fact check for themselves and relying on very limited reporting.