Posts tagged with "jobs"

Save Journalism Project Launches To Protect Our Press From Big Tech

BuzzFeed Reports on Recently Laid Off Journalists Serving  As Spox For New Campaign To Save Journalism From Monopolistic Power of Big Tech Companies

Today, BuzzFeed reports on the Save Journalism Project that’s launching to raise awareness and engagement about the critical need to save journalism as it faces an existential threat—the monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlets. At the same time, Google and Facebook have made acquisition after acquisition, gaining a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. Just now are Facebook, Google, and other tech giants facing federal government and Congressional antitrust scrutiny.

Two recently laid off reporters will serve as spokespeople for the Save Journalism Project, Laura Bassett  and John StantonLearn More and Join the Fight at SaveJournalism.org and@SaveTheNews.

BuzzFeed: These Reporters Lost Their Jobs. Now They’re Fighting Back Against Big Tech.

“John Stanton and Laura Bassett are warning about what they believe the tech industry is doing to journalism, as thousands have lost their jobs this year alone.

By Rosie Gray”

Two prominent reporters who were recently laid off from digital media outlets are forming a new advocacy group formed to raise awareness about big tech’s impact on the journalism industry.

John Stanton, a longtime congressional correspondent and former BuzzFeed News Washington bureau chief, and Laura Bassett, a former culture and political reporter for nearly 10 years at the Huffington Post, have teamed up to launch a new initiative called the Save Journalism Project. The two have first-hand experience with the troubled state of the news industry: Stanton was laid off from BuzzFeed News during a round of layoffs that affected 200 people company-wide this winter and spurred a unionization drive among the news staff. Bassett lost her job in similar fashion in January after Huffington Post laid off 20 employees as part of larger cuts at its parent company, Verizon Media.

This year has been one of the worst in recent memory for journalism jobs. Across the industry, thousands have lost their jobs: from BuzzFeed News, Vice, CNN, and others across the country at local publications. Media organizations have been imperiled by crashing advertising revenues as Facebook and Google vacuum up available ad dollars.

Their new project will be set up as a nonprofit, according to Eddie Vale, a Democratic consultant whose firm is providing the man-power to launch the effort. Vale pitched Bassett on the idea, and the two of them brought in Stanton. Vale said initial funding had been secured from “someone who doesn’t want to be public so Google and Facebook don’t go after them,” and the group plans to continue to fundraise. So far, the pair have co-authored testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighting the tech giants’ impact on the news industry — “since being laid off, we’ve made it our mission to understand how the digital marketplace works and how Big Tech is killing the journalism industry,” they wrote — flown a plane above Google’s I/O conference, and authored op-eds.

A key part of their goal is to get journalists, who aren’t known for showing a keen interest in the business side of their publications or for engaging in advocacy themselves, to take an active role in defending the future of their jobs. In an interview, Stanton said they were “trying to educate the public and members of Congress and also start encouraging our colleagues to speak up.”

“Reporters are not generally super interested in speaking about their own problems and about things that affect them directly because they feel like it becomes a conflict of interest, and in certain ways that’s true,” Stanton said. “But when the future of the free press is being pretty seriously endangered by something, I think it’s incumbent upon us to stand up for ourselves.”

Like many reporters, Bassett said she had “never really had to pay attention to the financial side of journalism.”

But “after getting laid off, I started to become really interested in why all of these amazing news publishers were sort of going under, having to lay off staff, why we were losing local newspapers. It’s a tragedy, it’s really bad for democracy.”

Their effort comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the tech industry on the part of the federal government as well as Congress as public concern mounts over repeated privacy scandals, technology companies’ role in spreading misinformation, and their dominance over certain industries. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission reportedly made a deal to divide potential antitrust investigations between them; Apple and Google will fall under the purview of the DOJ, while the FTC took Facebook and Amazon. The House Judiciary Committee announced it would “conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms.”

The Save Journalism Project’s founders are hoping to steer the public conversation around the negative effects of Big Tech towards its impact on journalism.

Stanton, who lives in New Orleans, mentioned examples like that city’s local paper, the Times-Picayune, which laid off its entire staff last month. Around the country, Stanton said, “local reporters are so overtaxed. They’re doing as good a job as they can but there’s not enough of them.”

At the moment, Stanton and Bassett are more focused on warning the public and the industry about the issue than on proposing solutions.

“I do think that everyone is starting to see a need to break up and regulate these companies or something along those lines,” Bassett said. “And with regards to how they’re going to make journalism viable again, I don’t frankly know…I think right now we’re starting with just getting this conversation out into the public and making people aware of exactly what’s going on. I do hope at some point we graduate into saying, ‘here’s a list of policy proposals, here’s exactly what needs to happen.'”

Stanton and Bassett plan to interview elected officials, candidates and colleagues in the media about the industry’s crisis, and started with conducting on-camera interviews with Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Ruben Gallego. They plan to circulate a letter with which media companies can sign on to their cause. And their first official event will be at the annual Congressional Baseball Game, where they plan to distribute a physical newspaper laying out the problems on their agenda.

“The DC press corps is a really powerful constituency within our industry,” Stanton said. “If we can get our colleagues [there] to start talking about this it will help more broadly.”

GENERATION OF AUTOMATION: IS YOUR JOB IN DANGER?

Humanity has made great strides in the technical world and, as of late, those strides have begun affecting the livelihood of people directly. Technology, (specifically A.I.) has seen vast advancements in recent years, so much so that for some industries the threat of redundancy is becoming ever more real.

According to original research from MoneySuperMarket, driverless vehicles are growing in capability and becoming more popular among firms that traditionally employ large numbers of drivers. Such a transition could trigger large-scale redundancies by as early as 2020. But, which jobs are in danger of being automated first?

Is Your Job At Risk?

To date in the UK, many motoring jobs have already fallen victim to automation – and as many as 1.2 million face a 67% or higher probability of their jobs being automated – representing up to £23.9 billion in annual salaries.

Among professional drivers, only driving instructors have little to fear, with the 29,000 employed in the UK having only a 13% chance of replacement with a machine. However, there are many other driving oriented jobs that could be in danger of being automated such as:
1. Food delivery drivers – The takeaway delivery industry is likely to see replacements across the board, with a 98% chance of automation.
2. Waste disposal workers – Waste collectors face a 93% likelihood of having their roles replaced by a machine. Volvo showcased a prototype bin lorry that uses drones to identify nearby bins, although this wouldn’t completely replace the need for human workers.
3. Taxi drivers – As with bus drivers, there have been moves to automate private transport services. Notably, Addison Lee has stated that the company intends to have automated vehicles deployed in London by 2021. In Tokyo, meanwhile, an autonomous taxi service began operation in August, transporting passengers along a set route.
Even though, driverless technology advances with each passing year, there are some jobs in emergency services, that aren’t at high risk of being fully automated. Services such as, ambulances, police and the fire department are at less risk of being fully replaced due to requiring additional skills.

Tom Flack, Editor-in-Chief at MoneySuperMarket, commented:

“Automation will bring massive changes across the whole of society and those who drive for a living may be among the first to feel its effects. Tests of driverless vehicles are well-advanced and are soon to be on the roads – with future positions in commercial usage already identified.
“If businesses see an opportunity to save money by making drivers redundant, they are likely to grab it – that’s the nature of competition. We can only hope that automation brings with it fresh employment opportunities for those whose existing roles disappear.”

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT

“People with disabilities are entering the workforce in unprecedented numbers?” It’s worth looking at the reports that show how “no group has felt the benefits of accelerated economic growth more than Americans with a disability”

Indeed, people with disabilities experienced a four-fold increase in job opportunities last year – unprecedented growth

In states across the country, Governors are undertaking new efforts to expand job opportunities for all. For example, Gov.Edwards recently launched a task force focused on employment for Louisianans with disabilities. Gov. Walker just signed historic legislation that makes Wisconsin an Employment First and commits resources to expanding competitive, integrated employment. Remarkable progress and remarkable leadership.

During the Meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA), our team and partner organizations spoke 1-on-1 with thirty-four different Governors. In each meeting we advocated for policies and practices that will expand economic opportunities. For several Governors, we had the chance to honor them with an award for their leadership and their continuing commitment to these issues.

At the end of the day, there are hundreds of self-advocates, community organizations and state leaders in a position to drive this change forward. Your involvement can move progress even faster! Expanding opportunities requires leaders across the public sector, the private sector and advocates to join forces and find solutions. First, check out where your state ranks and what challenges impact opportunities. You can also see what your state has done or is already doing to expand jobs for people with disabilities. We have written in-depth reports about what each of the 50 states is doing to advance opportunities for Americans with disabilities. image-2018-04-18 (1)