American newsrooms continue to be decimated by big tech with the news that buyouts and layoffs are coming to Newsday, Vallejo Times-Herald and ReWire News publications.
In a move that surprised its staffers, executives from Newsday announced to its team Thursday that they would be offering voluntary buyouts. Additionally, the Vallejo Times-Herald’s news reporter, John Glidden tweeted the newspaper would be eliminating a news reporter position, leaving just him to cover a city of 120,000 people. And, according to a ReWire News union statement, ReWire News, once at the forefront of reproductive health and justice, just fired its remaining reporters. The journalists, who produced groundbreaking coverage on crisis pregnancy centers and Trump’s immigration policies, are now considered to not be vital to the publication or “mission critical.” As of now, these journalists are left without severance and are fighting for compensation for their work.
All this comes as newspapers large and small, far and wide have been forced to condense their staff, in a futile attempt to fight an unbalanced war against their biggest competitor: big tech.
John Stanton, former DC bureau chief for Buzzfeed who was laid off in January and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, stated:
I stand with my colleagues at Newsday, Vallejo Times-Herald and ReWire News and all those facing the consequences of lay-offs, buy-outs, and closures – a tale all too familiar for many in our world. The journalism industry and our country faced a huge loss this past week.
The free press is essential to our democracy, and, when big tech stifles this access, our democracy is diminished. But tech companies won’t stop here. Their thirst for money will only continue to drive newspapers like Newsday, Vallejo Times-Herald, and ReWire News to extinction.
Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.