Mass Layoffs at the Huffington Post Signal Doom for Journalism (Jacobin)

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    • #410006
      mrdmk
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      • Total Posts: 3,023

      A massive round of layoffs at the Huffington Post confirms that the media industry stands at the edge of a precipice. The only way it can shield itself from the whims of sadistic media baron owners who care nothing for journalism is by looking beyond capitalist ownership.

      By Luke Savage

       

      Given their appalling regularity these days, media layoffs have begun to take on the character of a grim ritual that follows a now all-too-familiar pattern. With great pomp, a big industry player, media baron, or venture capitalist will announce a bold new merger or acquisition, often promising to rescue or streamline a flailing venture. Within a few years, or sometimes a mere few months, this chirpy PR will suddenly give way to the language of hardheaded financial calculus, after which a spate of layoffs invariably follows.

      In this respect, the devastating closures and layoffs announced earlier this week by the Huffington Post struck quite a few familiar notes. Acquired late last year by BuzzFeed, the company will not so much be shedding talent as hemorrhaging it: some forty-seven jobs being axed across the United States while Canada’s fully bilingual arm will be shuttered altogether and cuts loom for its staff in Australia. BuzzFeed’s 2020 acquisition of the Huffington Post from Verizon Media came barely five years after its sale by AOL, which itself purchased the outlet in 2011.

      A few short months ago BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti (who in January bought himself an estate in Los Feliz valued at $5.2 million) was all smiles about the move. “I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years,” said Paretti in a November statement. “BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come. With the addition of HuffPost, our media network will have more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers.”

      Needless to say, the cuts will affect an astonishing roster of skilled and experienced journalists — the circumstances surrounding them being especially cruel, even by industry standards. As journalist Laura Bassett reported, some staff were summoned to a virtual meeting (inexplicably given the password “spr!ngisH3r3”) only to be informed that layoffs were coming and that an email might or might not be forthcoming in a few hours regarding their termination. Calling the situation “a bloodbath,” one member of the Huffington Post’s staff union told Defector “It’s worse than the worst-case scenario for what any of us thought we would see when we got this announcement a couple hours ago.” Employees at HuffPost Canada, meanwhile, saw their site shut down suddenly and without warning. Management insists the layoffs have nothing to do with the successful union drive that concluded two weeks ago.

      LINK–Jacobin, Mass Layoffs at the Huffington Post Signal Doom for Journalism

       

      Back in 2011 when AOL purchased Huffington Post, they immediately declared we are going to have opinions from both sides for, ‘A Fair and Balanced news site!’ That was the end of Huffington in my opinion, the articles were along the lines of Fox News narrative. It was that bad.

      If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields

      Warning DO NOT CLICK HERE!
    • #410015
      NV Wino
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 7,208

      .

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #410018
      closeupready
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      Jacobin, Daily Beast, Salon, rawstory, Mother Jones … all are (or have become) little more than pro-DNC, pro-neoliberalism tabloid rags akin to Daily Mail. Yawn.

      Saying, as the article’s headline does, that “layoffs at the Huffington Post signal doom for journalism” is like saying “layoffs at the Huffington Post signal doom for propaganda”. Journalism and propaganda are both alive and well, and will never die.

      The problem with Huffington Post is that they pretended to be journalism but did little more than push neoliberal propaganda. Nobody on either side of the political aisle was interested in that.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #410036
      djean111
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      • Total Posts: 5,898

      .

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

    • #410051
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 20,155

      Arianna Huffington once founded a website called Fire Dog Lake. She let it go under after a bunch of real leftists started dominating the place. Now her little propaganda site is going away? Awwwww.

      As for the consolidation of news markets, that’s been going on since the Clinton Administration. 1996, to be exact.

       

       

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #410056
        JonLP
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        • Total Posts: 3,359

        You brought back memories. I remember people at the other place were very angry with Fire Dog Lake early in Obama’s term. I think she was a Clinton supporter in 2008 and often attacked Obama.

        Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

        Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts - AOC

        • #410187
          Ohio Barbarian
          Moderator
          • Total Posts: 20,155

          I get my rich liberal celebrities mixed up sometimes.

          It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

          You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #410090
        Cold Mountain Trail
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 12,404

        I think you mean since Reagan, who started the ball rolling.

        1981    [Reagan Presidency]

        Reagan Administration deregulation under the leadership of FCC Chairman Mark Fowler. Deregulatory moves, some made by Congress, others by the FCC included extending television licenses to five years from three in 1981. The number of television stations any single entity could own grew from seven in 1981 to 12 in 1985.

        1985    [Reagan Presidency]

        Guidelines for minimal amounts of non-entertainment programming are abolished. FCC guidelines on how much advertising can be carried per hour are eliminated.

        1987    [Reagan Presidency]

        “Fairness Doctrine” eliminated. At its founding the FCC viewed the stations to which it granted licenses as “public trustee” — and required that they made every reasonable attempt to cover contrasting points of views.

        https://discuss.epluribusmedia.net/commentary/media-consolidation-historical-perspective

         

        Apparently huffington had no part in starting (or maintaining) firedoglake

        0/2

    • #410077
      Earthartist
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      Hehe you guys said all that needs to be said!

      Earthartist

    • #410080
      Cold Mountain Trail
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      • Total Posts: 12,404

      “Management insists the layoffs have nothing to do with the successful union drive that concluded two weeks ago.”

    • #410088
      Cold Mountain Trail
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 12,404

      US newspapers having shed roughly 50 percent of all newsroom employees since 2008. Despite the long-term decline of newspaper jobs, digital and alternative media projects have not really succeeded in making up for the losses (the former experiencing a somewhat negligible uptick before the wave of pandemic layoffs).”

      As Brendan O’Connor, formerly of Gawker, put it earlier this week:

      “In a decade all media will be the New York Times and the Washington Post, all the former startups will consolidate into a single ViceFeed conglomerate that publishes a quarterly New York magazine and is owned in part by Facebook, and everything else will be Disney or Amazon.”

       

    • #410089
      Cold Mountain Trail
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    • #410130
      snot
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      • Total Posts: 1,179

      thus Assange rots in jail.  These “journalists” probably all went along with smearing him; they sacrificed their integrity – for what?  If they’d stood up, they and we all might be better off now.

      That we would come to this unless journalists did stand up to the 1% was obvious years ago, but those I knew personally refused to recognize what was happening – they blamed the steady stream of lay-offs on everything but the most fundamental cause.  I still struggle to understand that kind of blindness.

      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

    • #410195
      Fasttense
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,567

      The news organizations are in the process of consolidating into one  useless mouthpiece for the filthy rich. Propaganda for the government captured by the filthy rich.

      And don’t even attempt to unionize. Why isn’t the Taft-Hartley act, and right to work misnamed laws, enough to put a steak through the heart of American Unions? How dare workers think they can unionize against slave wages.

      This is why people turn to sometimes crazy news outlets on the web. The establishment monopolistic filthy rich media corporations just don’t want you to know the truth.

      Everything they swallow up turns into Fox news.

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