THE ATLANTIC: “Is American Journalism Headed Towards an ‘Extinction-Level Event?'” As Ace of Spades quips, “Dear Jesus, please, I don’t ask for much:”
Is American Journalism Headed Toward an ‘Extinction-Level Event’?
The news industry has been in decline for decades, but the latest round of layoffs is especially ominous.
By Paul Farhi
For a few hours last Tuesday, the entire news business seemed to be collapsing all at once. Journalists at Time magazine and National Geographic announced that they had been laid off. Unionized employees at magazines owned by Condé Nast staged a one-day strike to protest imminent cuts. By far the grimmest news was from the Los Angeles Times, the biggest newspaper west of the Washington, D.C., area. After weeks of rumors, the paper announced that it was cutting 115 people, more than 20 percent of its newsroom.
On the other hand, Jim Geraghty writes: The Collapse of News Is Nothing to Cheer.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to publicly cheer on the layoffs of other people, even if you’ve vehemently disliked their past work. (I’ll make an exception for certain NFL head coaches.) It certainly isn’t very Christian to take pleasure in other people’s suffering and misfortune. If you want to privately feel a sense of satisfaction and say to yourself, “Good, they had it coming,” I suppose there’s less harm in that. But what goes around comes around, and the axe comes for us all sooner or later. I don’t see why you would want to advertise to the world, via social media, that you’re the kind of person who takes glee in kicking a person when they’re down.
When you see larger-scale layoffs or buyouts at major media institutions, the management’s perception of who should stay and who should go probably won’t align with yours. The columnists whom you know, who irked you so, have a better shot at surviving the cuts because they’re well-known enough for you to have heard of them. It’s the less-known figures like the assistant city-hall reporter and the copy editors who are most likely to get the axe. That said, there’s an inverse effect, as the younger, less experienced staffers are also likely cheaper.
And on the gripping hand:
Look how stupid everything has become. pic.twitter.com/1i6M5kpTLX
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) February 2, 2024
* Classical reference.
(Updated and bumped.)