Thursday, January 24, 2019

Media Massacre

Today was a bloodbath for the media as newsrooms were decimated across the country. The Poynter website reported:

 Gannett began slashing jobs all across the country Wednesday in a cost-cutting move that was anticipated even before the recent news that a hedge-fund company was planning to buy the chain.
 The cuts were not minor.

At the Indianapolis Star, three journalists were laid off, including well-known columnist Tim Swarens. At the Knoxville (Tennessee) News Sentinel, University of Tennessee women’s basketball reporter Dan Fleser is out after more than 30 years in sports. The Tennessean cut three positions, including high school sports reporter Michael Murphy.

Six were laid off at The Record in North Jersey after nine took an early retirement buyout earlier this month.  On and on it continued.

Four were let go at the Westchester (New York) Journal News. Four were let go at the Ventura County (California) Star. Three were let go at The Citizen Times in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Arizona Republic laid off two, including cartoonist Steve Benson, the 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner for cartooning and a finalist for the award four other times.... Rest of the post.
 The Clarion-Ledger did not suffer such cutbacks today.  It is probably safe to bet the "state" newspaper was spared because Marshall Ramsey, Theres Apel, and Jerry Mitchell recently left the newspaper's employ.  Billy Watkins accepted a buyout offer recently and left as well.  Simply put, competency and experience are the quickest way to lose your job in the newspaper business today.  However, the carnage continued.

Buzzfeed cut 15% of its staff as well.  The Wall Street Journal reported:

BuzzFeed is planning to lay off about 15% of its workforce, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company seeks to reorient itself in a shifting digital-media landscape.

The cuts could affect around 250 jobs, the people said. The firm, among the most high-profile digital-native publishers, also is looking to realign its resources to invest more in promising areas of the business like content licensing and e-commerce, one of the people said.

One impetus for the changes is to get BuzzFeed on the path to profitability and in proper shape as it scouts out potential merger combinations with other digital media players, the people said.

Another driver of the cuts is to help the company avoid raising money again, one of the people said. BuzzFeed has raised about $500 million and was valued at about $1.7 billion following its last funding round in 2016.  Its investors include Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal—which has invested $400 million—Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, RRE Ventures and Hearst Ventures.

Verizon Media is slashing its workforce as well.  The Huffington Post reported:

Verizon Media, which owns HuffPost, AOL and Yahoo along with other media brands, will lay off 7 percent of its workforce this week, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

The news comes more than a month after Verizon took a $4.6 billion write-down on HuffPost’s parent company, Oath (now called Verizon Media).
In the wake of the write-down, some news outlets reported that Verizon planned to cut 10 percent of Oath staff, or more than 1,000 jobs. Now, with the updated numbers, the number of jobs affected will be closer to 750. HuffPost staffers in the U.S. expected to see layoffs in their newsrooms, though it was not immediately clear how the cuts would affect the brand.... Rest of article.

 The WSJ spelled out one of the main reasons for the bloodbath:

Across the industry, online publishers have struggled to sustain fast growth in digital advertising sales and meet the high expectations of their investors, as they run up against the dominance of tech titans such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc.

Google and Facebook are literally grabbing all of the online advertising revenue from the media while they steal their content.  Newspapers and digital media are trying to survive on the crumbs but are unable to do so.  Readers can gripe about the "liberal media" but when quality newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal are forced to lay off staff and reduce the content published, Houston, we have a problem. 

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love technological advance-

Anonymous said...

I have no sympathy for the faltering biased mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

Trump was 100% correct. The MSM in this country is the enemy of the people. I have 0 sympathy.

Cynical Sam said...

I wonder if there is a nexus between political views of those given the axe?

Anonymous said...

Everyone quickly go up to Broad Street and give Jeff G. Gift cards for these journalist.

Anonymous said...

John Grisham writes much better fiction than any of the reporters at Buzzfeed.

Unfortunately, The Washington Post hasn't sacked any of their openly racist editors.

Forrest C. Adcock said...

Coming in a week where we've seen the media call a group of teenagers waiting on a bus vile racists while calling a proven liar a "respected" Vietnam veteran; I really couldn't be happier to see media members lose their jobs. I hope more job losses follow. If you don't understand why thats the case, you should lose your job as well.

Anonymous said...

The digitization and democratization (social media/youtube/independents) of journalism are game changers - and are probably the biggest drivers of the death of print. But on some level, lack of faith in traditional media must be a sizeable factor. Who really trusts the traditional media?

Personally, I've upped my print media consumption in the last couple of years. There's still a market for good print journalism, and good journalism is becoming harder to find.

Anonymous said...

KF, it looks like the on-line publications laid off more writers than the print media. Camille Paglia of the NY Times nailed the problem when she said, "journalism is dead."

Anonymous said...

Cry me an effing river.

Anonymous said...

The old grey lady and her acolytes have been creeping along the last two decades. Meanwhile, Kingfish has been building an empire!! Ad-based news is the cutting edge. Look at Drudge. I just got offered $150 from the Chicago Tribune to understand why I cancelled my subscription. They are bleeding money and fast!!

Anonymous said...

I have no sympathy for the faltering biased mainstream media.

Here's another person that has fallen prey to confirmation bias. Unless the news is spun to fit their personal beliefs - it becomes fake news to them. SMH

Anonymous said...

I may have missed it, but where/when did the WSJ announce layoffs? I see the layoffs at Gannett's papers, Buzzfeed, and Verizon Media (all are basically a bunch of liberal echo chambers), but no WSJ.

Anonymous said...

Problem for Google and FB is there soon will be no content left to steal.

Anonymous said...

Spot on point at the end. Facebook, Twitter, etc. have killed the American media. They have extracted sound bites, converted them to posts, drawn Americans away from reading full articles, satanically engineered their products to shrink our attention span, and stolen all of the media's revenue. The world is not better because of Facebook.

Kingfish said...

WSJ made its cuts over a year ago.

I agree newsprint is dying for several reasons. However, the digital media has not been able to make a profit either, hence the huge layoffs. As I wrote the other day, Craigslist decimated classified advertising revenue. Too much content is made available for free. FB and Google rob them over and over. Of course, the media outlets can't band together to fight the Big 2 thanks to antitrust laws, which they are trying to change.

Anonymous said...

Always a hoot when those afflicted with myopia find it necessary to lecture others about confirmation bias!

Blesssings Where You Find Them said...

Cynical Sam posted "I wonder if there is a nexus between political views of those given the axe?" Excellent question that needs to be answered......

Anonymous said...

I bought a big box of rubber bands years ago, canceled my subscription, and have been better off since that day.

Anonymous said...

"BuzzFeed is planning to lay off about 15% of its workforce, accordingto people familiar with the situation, as the company seeks to reorientitself in a shifting digital-media landscape."

I thought buzzfeed was digital media?

Kingfish said...

Post wasn't just about newspapers.

Anonymous said...

The JFP is more credible than BuzzFeed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment above regarding the shameful, feckless attack on school children that was, at best, abetted by the mainstream media. The US media has long abandoned truth in favor of virtue signaling and agenda promotion under the guise of journalism.

When leftists are offering sex for assaulting a minor (even as a joke, that's pathetically bad) and the media sits by and fuels the fire, they deserve to be on the damn breadline.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, in another State, my family was the subject of headlines in our local newspaper. I was astounded, appalled, and hurt by the poor level of journalism. Fact checking was minimal, dual sourcing was scarce, rumor and innuendo were the order of the day. I understand and acknowledge that digital “news” is about the same with regard to playing fast and loose with the facts, but, for the most part, the digital news providers don’t try to characterize themselves as “independent journalists” with no bias and try to tell us that they are reporting “just the facts.” My personal experience with traditional print, and, I might add, local television journalism, is that it was one step above the National Enquirer.
Just sharing my experience.

Anonymous said...

People who follow news get their information from multiple sources in this era of internet news thus it’s easy to determine when a news outlet is biased, just simple camparison. How something is reported is one measure, another measure is by what is not reported.

Anonymous said...

Gannet did much to ruin the press. Not that others didn't let their left leaning preferences seep through. Opinion was blurred with fact. The question is how will we communicate? Social media seems prone to the vilest who never before had a platform and to censoring those who are not vile. Communication is the key and traditional methods are failing. Television has no accountability except ratings and advertisers. Polling is no longer trustworthy. Technology has outpaced the public's right to know. We may have a rocky ride before we find some reliable way to communicate.

Rod Knox said...

On every story the partisans rush back to their corners eager to be informed of what to believe by their chosen Ministry of Trooth. And as for the old Native American and the Catholic Preppies it seems certain that the situation was a setup by one side or the other which should be the real story. Who will win out in this "Preppies vs Greasers" conflict won't be settled except in the collective minds of FN and MSNBC congregations. My opinion is that again they both lose and the rest of US along with them.

Anonymous said...

@9:14 I don't see a way to put the genie back into the bottle. We're entering uncharted territory. Few are worthy of trust.

Anonymous said...

The dismantling and ultimate death of information outlets in this country are no reason for applause, whether you agree with their content or not. Those who buy the one-sided rants of demagogues are likely to line up for the book burnings without caring that such fires will consume their "truth" as well. The death of journalism is no small thing and we should truly fear those who think it is.


And 7:39 please know that only one man was 100% correct and he lived about 2000 years ago. Be careful who you lift up, and who you cast down.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry too much. Most Journalists and Editors are Chosen specifically for their ability to carry the Tribe's water. It is a very exclusive group with very few outside of the Chosen Tribe rising to the Media Elite. Being that Journalism is such a Tribal group, they look out for and take care their other members of the Tribe.

Anonymous said...

Media today is a joke. How often does WLBT, WJTV, WAPT have obvious grammar and spelling mistakes up on a news story for days? Don't call it journalism, it's just media.

Anonymous said...

Since the founding of our nation, the print mediums have been (for better and worse) our guardians of democracy. I am not happy to see this evolution. True journalism is dying and there is nothing but tweets to replace it. This is unhealthy for all of us. We cannot rely upon the local newspaper (Clarion Ledger) to inform us and question those in authority. Where are the inquiries into what each of the city councilpersons are doing to stem the horror of black on black crime that is killing this city?

My hope is that somehow there will be a re-birth of individual journalists who can survive on the stories they write. If not, we all are poorer for it.

Anonymous said...

@ January 24, 2019 at 9:33 AM

Well stated! Couldn't have said it better myself.

Kingfish said...

The tv stations are surviving but look at the coverage. One to two minute stories and that's it with little investigative reporting. TV stations in larger cities have investigative producers, not so in Jackson. That reporter, who often is fresh out of school with just a journalism degree, has to investigate and produce the story. There is no diving deep into financial records or budgets. Governments and politicians get to run unchecked unless they really screw up.

Anonymous said...

Are we now living in an echo chamber society where we only want to read and hear news and other information that meets our individual requirements?

Kingfish said...

Yup. Facebook and news readers have fed into the worst of it.

Anonymous said...

When 'reporters' and 'newspapers' return to the practice of printing what, when, where, who & sometimes why their readers will show more enthusiasm and support. The situation will never be the same as when there was no instant internet coverage of every news item. But our current distrust of both print & internet stems directly from choices made by msm. I don't need to buy a newspaper to read the opinion of some nobody with a byline. I can get that on FB. When news stories contain facts without slant (and it better be plenty of facts); when speeches are printed as given without opinion of 'reporter;' when no editorializing or slanting or repeating of old tropes are allowed in stories - many of the over-40 crowd will return to reading print. For now, who cares.

Anonymous said...

Now maybe Ole Miss will fire the socialist Joe Atkins too.

Anonymous said...

8:40 "I bought a big box of rubber bands years ago, canceled my subscription, and have been better off since that day."

When was the last time you had a paper delivered with a rubber band around it. You musta canceled 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

It really is a shame. Most people these days prefer to get their "news" from someone who agrees with them. Everyone has to stay in their safe space, posting on sites like this who heavily moderate and censor differing opinions. It used to be that these fringe lunatics felt isolated and alone, and now they feel like they are an emboldened majority. It's a very dangerous path.

Kingfish said...

Liar. No one gets censored for a viewpoint.

Well, there is one that gets censored and you can guess what it is.

Anonymous said...

Media has been so biased for so long... it is hard to feel sorry for them. We can only hope that old fashioned journalism can rise from the ashes so it can retake it's place of protecting our democracy. If I had to choose which dictator I want whether it be Trump or some left winger I would probably choose Trump but who am I kidding it won't make that much of a difference. For the few who have connections it will be great for everyone else it will suck.

Anonymous said...

11:45- About 18 years to be exact, an article in the CL on “Same Sex Prom Dates” did it for me.

Anonymous said...

People are sick of reading all the biased reporting. Lock the doors!

Anonymous said...

Can’t wait until Jim Prince is unemployed.....

Anonymous said...

Supply and demand. This is a capitalist economy. News is a commodity to be bought and sold. People get what they want to pay for. They want to be entertained, they want to have their opinions confirmed by authority no matter how biased their opinions might be. They do not like to hear, or see, facts which tend to refute or disprove their opinions. They are willing to pay to be validated, not to be disproved.

It's amazing that "journalism" and "news" have lasted this long.

Bill McHennrie said...

"...struggle to meet high expectations of their investors". Who the hell is investing in print media when there's timber out there on the market?

Anonymous said...

3:02

Wrong. Most of us thoroughly enjoy JJ in spite of your contributions.

Anonymous said...

@ January 24, 2019 at 6:34 PM

Where is 3:02pm wrong? They do not like to hear, or see, facts which tend to refute or disprove their opinions. They are willing to pay to be validated, not to be disproved.

That's a damn good point? Look at NewsMax and CRTV, I can guarantee those outlets do well in Mississippi. Kingfish is conservative, but he isn't blind to B.S. either. MississippiPEP, Paul Gallo, Kim Wade and JT - that is their nest egg spinning political topics to fit the status quo! They follow the Fox News model and people here eat that sh*t up!

Anonymous said...

So what exactly is the issue @7:55 beyond the fact that you disapprove?

Anonymous said...

7:55 What 3:02 meant is that the knife cuts both ways too. There are those that may eat up Fox News and the rest, but there are also people who live by MSNBC, CNN and the others. Each of these entities hold themselves out as sources of facts. Those whose opinions coincide with theirs will keep them afloat whether they are truly factual or not.

Anonymous said...

While greed and profit drive business, the professions including the Fourth Estate were never supposed to be driven by profit.

It used to be understood that some tasks were so essential to a free society, that honorable people who had a calling to service those professions.

The day ABC news decided that news should be "entertainment" and they made big bucks, once second rate lawyers could advertise and make money, once doctors saw patients and packages on an assembly line, our free and capitalistic society began to move to oligarchy.

Capitalism can't really exist except in a free, democratic society that promotions competition and has a healthy and competent work force. Demand isn't artificially created and men value their freedom enough not to destroy others to profit.

Anonymous said...

@12:23 your effort to sound intellectual failed miserably. Try again. In English.

Anonymous said...

12:23 Check your history. It's profit driven, always was.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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