This week, we discussed the recent Gannett, BuzzFeed and HuffPost layoffs in the media. While this news wasn’t necessarily anything new, it was striking as journalists have often viewed BuzzFeed and HuffPost to be unique in the way they approach their audiences.
It isn’t traditional media, and to watch it dwindle nonetheless is another blow to journalists everywhere. As mentioned in the Slate article “The Crisis Facing American Journalism Did Not Start With the Internet”, even with these cuts, the Gannett news is the scariest. “It is one of the last big newspaper chains that has properties in markets of all size,” the article states. A powerhouse being ripped at the seams.
Then, as a class and in the article, we dove into the discussion of how news got to this point. It isn’t as simple as the public often assumes. Internet wasn’t the sole force that harmed print media. Bad business tactics coupled with faulty investor expectations were some other driving forces that brought down print media.
When the recession hit, news outlets were cutting costs by cutting employees. A lot. And since then, a decline has been prevalent in news media. Local papers have decreased extensively, and the future of local print news is questionable. We begin to fear that it might be wiped out for good down the line. This contrasts with hubs that succeed digitally, like BuzzFeed and HuffPost, which offers a new worry: is digital safe? Or is all news media subject to cuts? Us journalists are screaming.
As journalists, we know that stories are meant to be told. With extensive layoffs hitting all elements of the newsroom, we must push to bring journalism back in a new light. These stories need to be told. The public needs to hear it. We need to tell them. The future is scary, but it may not have to be – the next big thing could save us.