Nearly 1,100 New York Times employees staged a sort of strike on Thursday. It was a 24 hour strike, which seems rather ineffective considering the desperate attempts to get readers to join them by refusing to consume any Times content that day. Their position was further compromised when they realized that the greatest challenge was not in their work, but in convincing people to stop playing Wordle!
This little-known quit-snit was likely met with shrugs, based on the core complaints of this block of journalists guild workers. They were negotiating for wages that “keep pace with inflation”, claiming that they had been especially affected by the New York City economic crisis. It is quite distressing to see that the press actively tried to sell the public the idea that the economy is not as bad and it isn’t as bad as people think. This was done to protect Joe Biden.
Given the current economic crisis in the media sector, these Times writers must realize that they do not have bargaining power. Management should only notice how many other media outlets are experiencing similar revenue declines. It is difficult for workers to use threats of leaving to get work when there are so few opportunities. Take a look at how many news outlets have stopped growth or cut staff to save money.
CNN has a series of very severe layoffs. I have previously detailed this.
Buzzfeed has announced that it will lay off 12 percent more employees after cutting its news division in March.
Gannett has just initiated its third round in six-months of layoffs.
Vice News has been consistently cutting back workers and is now looking for a buyer.
Morning Brew has dispatched 15% of its editorial staff.
Outside Media went through its second round this year of layoffs.
Parade Magazine, the Sunday newspaper insert, will stop publishing print editions for first time since 1941.
John Heilman’s outlet The Recount has closed.
Protocol, a tech news outlet, has closed.
The Washington Post also has its problems. It will also close its Sunday magazine. The last issue will be published on Christmas Day, just like Parade. This has led to layoffs as the outlet has been losing customers for some time. We can now see how severe the losses were.
The Wall Street Journal published a report on a new tech division within the Washington Post. It is now being considered a larger entity than originally thought. This proprietary publishing platform, which the paper originally created for advertising purposes, is called “Arc XP.” This program has grown to create apps and analyze tools over the past decade. The paper is now marketing the program to other businesses. The current discussion is about whether the tool should be spun off as a separate entity or sold outright.
You can find the Journal’s piece that explains why this effort was necessary. Now we can see how difficult the past years were for WaPo in terms of income.
According to people, the Post is expected to earn around $600,000,000 in revenue by 2022. It also has more than 2.5 million subscribers, compared with three million in January 2021. They said that the company doesn’t expect to make any profit this year.
This is quite stark. In the last two years, 500,000 readers were lost. This shows in stark numbers how difficult it is for media professionals across the board. This audience flight is a result of many factors. The economy is in trouble, the advertising industry has been falling apart, and media diversification continues. WaPo is also contributing to this decline. If you’re able to maintain interest and provide enough quality, you won’t lose half a billion subscribers.
This paper has consistently been hostile to a section of its audience. The national paper located within the nation’s capital has made it rather clear it harbors an animous towards Republicans/conservatives, so the motivation from that sector to continue funding the insults and attacks is diminished. You also have an apparent animosity towards journalist ethics.
This paper has allowed Taylor Lorenz’s rampant behavior this year. Glenn Kessler, a laughably fact-averse fact-checker, is based in this paper. It claims to have balanced editorial perspectives by retaining Democrats-in-conservative-clothing columnists Jennifer Rubin and Max Boot. It pretends Philip Bump is still a rational and cerebral source for commentary.
The journalism sector will soon look like a civil war battlefield one day after a conflict. There is hope that they might eventually realize this. Perhaps those remaining soldiers ensconced within the editorial cubical farms might finally realize that we are facing serious challenges.