Or that’s how the journalists feel. The Atlantic Lays Off 68 Employees, Cuts Executive Pay.
It seems that they don’t teach the fact the journalism is a business in school anymore. Did they ever?
The Atlantic is announcing a layoff of 68 of our colleagues,” wrote David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media, in an email to staff reviewed by TheWrap.
He wrote that the Atlantic is “accelerating its turn to a consumer revenue strategy” and focusing on the premium and subscription services behind its recently-added paywall, but “the overnight and near-complete undoing of in-person events and, for now, a bracing decline in advertising” led to the cuts.
That 68 people amounts to 17 percent of the workforce at The Atlantic. They are also cutting executive pay and freezing salaries for everyone else.
I would insert the “find a job in computer science” meme here, but it apparently is insulting when you say it to journalists. Though they’ve said it to enough others, that it makes me wonder when the rules changed.
CNN has praised its pandemic coverage. I won’t comment on that.
The New York Times seems even more distraught.
The announcement followed a burst of layoffs in the news media business last week: 155 jobs lost at Vice, 100 at Condé Nast, 90 at The Economist, 80 at Quartz. The cuts at those companies and publications came in the wake of a free fall set off by the coronavirus pandemic, which has cut deeply into advertising revenue.
And they are even more confused about the whole business part of the journalism business. You see The Atlantic has added a whole bunch of subscribers to their new paywall portion of their website. But that still isn’t getting it done.
But the emphasis on subscriptions over advertising revenue was not enough to prevent the job cuts.
The Times even pines for the days, 140 years ago, when EVERYONE important subscribed to the Atlantic. Times change.
Ads have always paid for everything in journalism. The local fish-wrapper was done in by the death of classified advertising, which was eliminated by eBay and Craigslist. Glossy magazine ads can’t compete with a decent website. Technology is killing print. (When was the last time you read a newspaper? How many actual magazines do you get in the mail every month?) And right now everyone is being killed by the down economy.
Don’t get me wrong, we need decent journalism. What we don’t need is what we have, which are cheerleaders for one side of the political aisle, opinion and bias masquerading as news, and all the other stuff that is not journalism. Or not good journalism.
Hat tip to Captain Capitalism, who notes…
Oh darn. More journalism majors laid off. *Too bad*