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Public loses trust in mainstream media, causing outlets to drastically reduce cut their operations through LAYOFFS
By Belle Carter // Jan 29, 2024

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the U.S. suffered 98 percent more layoffs in 2023 than in 2022. The Chicago-based global outplacement and career transitioning firm said that companies planned 721,677 job cuts last year, a substantial increase from the 363,832 layoffs reported in the previous year.

Renowned book author Michael Snyder cited the mainstream media (MSM) as a victim and attributed it to the public's mistrust of the industry as they are resorting to sources other than the mainstream outlets. "Survey after survey has shown that the American people have lost faith in the mainstream media and millions of us have decided to turn to other sources for news and information," Snyder said in a recent post on his Economic Collapse blog.

He pointed out how the MSM has been bleeding viewers and readers for years and "many of the biggest names in the news industry are losing staggering amounts of money. It was only a matter of time before we witnessed large-scale layoffs, and now they are here."

In fact, several journalism agencies, which used to be the de facto watchdog and facilitator of public discourse, are now struggling to stay afloat. Some have announced streamlining their operation size in the past week. One is Time magazine, which just announced that it will be laying off workers "across several departments, including editorial, tech, sales and Time Studios." As per its CEO Jessica Sibley, the move is a "necessary step we must take to drive our business forward and improve our financial position."

Sibley announced the cuts in an internal memo to staff, which was obtained by Semafor's Max Tani. "We have made the difficult decision to eliminate roles today across several departments," she wrote. "We are immensely grateful for the contributions of these talented team members during their tenure at Time."

Another daily that started firing employees was the Los Angeles Times, which has decided to eliminate "slightly more than 20 percent of the newsroom," impacting at least 115 journalists. The said newspaper's senior leadership described this past week as a "financial crisis" and so it started a round of layoffs, a workforce reduction that is set to be one of the most severe in the newspaper's 142-year history. Some 94 of the cuts will be among unionized employees, union chief Matt Pearce added.

Moreover, American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate Paramount Global is also planning to axe hundreds of its workers, as per sources. There has been chatter that the firm is set to fire 800. It followed a Wall Street Journal report in December that it was mulling the potential elimination of more than 1,000 jobs in early 2024 to rein in costs. Paramount is the parent company of CBS.

Meanwhile, another news division decided to shrink its workforce. According to a report by USA Today, NBC News has laid off several dozen staffers. A source familiar with the plans said that employees were given a 60-day notice and would get severance packages and outplacement.

Also, Sports Illustrated's publisher announced mass layoffs. Its parent company, the Arena Group, admitted failing to make a $3.75 million quarterly licensing payment to Authentic Brands Group due this week. As a result, it would make a "significant reduction" in its workforce of more than 100 journalists.

Americans are suffering from news fatigue

For some analysts, Americans are suffering from news fatigue as they become overwhelmed with major stories like the 2024 elections and escalating wars in the Middle East and Ukraine. Those who do follow the news have increasingly turned to social media and anti-establishment sites that exist outside legacy organizations. (Related: Even the mainstream media is starting to admit that the world is teetering on "the brink" of complete and utter chaos.)

"At a time when America arguably needs more solid news coverage than ever, it is very disturbing to see economic forces arrange so powerfully against traditional news sources," said Andrew Heyward, a former CBS News president who works with a group of MIT researchers studying the future of news and information. "It is not just disturbing," he added. "It's dangerous."

According to a New York Times article, companies are spending more of their ad budgets to reach users on big tech platforms like Instagram and Google, which in turn have become less reliable in referring readers to traditional news sources. Twitter, now X, shed users and relevance after its chaotic takeover by Elon Musk, while Google and Meta laid off key news employees and the head of Instagram's Threads app said it would not focus on news. "If you care about journalism – local news, national news, international news – every warning light should be blinking red," Mary Louise Kelly, a host of NPR's "All Things Considered," wrote on X after word of those layoffs spread.

Check out Journalism.news for more stories about the MSM.

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