WTF is Happening in Journalism This Week?
Layoffs! Layoffs everywhere!
Hey all, Parker here.
I'm not sure if you’ve noticed, but this has been an absolute bloodbath of a week for journalism.
On Wednesday, TIME magazine CEO Jess Sibley announced cuts to staff, saying there was “still more work to be done” to reduce expenses.
Yesterday morning, Business Insider CEO Barbara Peng announced that the company was laying off 8% of its staff. By the afternoon, Forbes announced layoffs of its own.
[It’s entirely possible that between the time I schedule this post and when it is sent to people’s inboxes, additional media companies will have somehow been added to the list.]
But first, real quick: here’s the part of the newsletter where I ask you to consider signing up for the free version if you’re new here and ask existing free subscribers to consider upgrading to the paid version.
Tony Hồ Trần of The Daily Beast seems to have summed up the mood pretty well with this Simpsons meme:
Also on Twitter, Business Insider editor Rosemary Donahue wrote that “working in media feels like playing an IRL version of Frogger while wearing roller skates, juggling, and trying to answer an email at the same time.”
A lot of my feelings on this wee have been summed up pretty perfectly in this(definitely worth subscribing to that newsletter, btw) post:
There are a lot of people who think, “Oh, well, I don’t need the reporters at the L.A. Times! I’ve got my favorite TikTok guy!” and like, hey, where do people think their favorite TikTok people tend to get most of their information? From the big name, legit outlets. It’s all aggregation and remixes, basically.
If you’re looking for something that… won’t exactly raise your spirits, but will give you a good idea of the state of things, may I recommend this piece fromat ?
It’s bad news. No pun intended. Here’s my advice for people in this cursed industry: start a mailing list.
It could be a Substack. It could be a Google Form. It could be a piece of paper and a pen that you carry around with you. But you should start a mailing list. Today. I explained why back in this July post:
What you need to know is that you never know when that staff job of yours will disappear and you’ll need a new way to stay in touch with all of your readers. That’s where the mailing list comes in handy. Social media is great, but it’s less direct than email.
Anyway, to all journalists affected by this week’s layoffs, I’m truly sorry for what you’ve been put through this week.