Surprise! Digital news outlets Buzzfeed and Verizon sack scribes
San Francisco: Throwing a serious question on the future of digital journalism, two big media outlets — Buzzfeed and Verizon which owns HuffPost, Yahoo and AOL — have announced to lay off more than 1,000 journalists globally.
According to a report in The Hill, BuzzFeed would lay off nearly 15 per cent of its staffers — over 200 jobs — and Verizon said it would slash 7 per cent of workers in its digital media operations — or roughly 800 jobs. Both Buzzfeed and HuffPost have India editions.
"Ax falls quickly at BuzzFeed and Huffpost!" Headline, New York Post. Fake News and bad journalism have caused a big downturn. Sadly, many others will follow. The people want the Truth!" tweeted US President Donald Trump.
According to Washington Examiner, BuzzFeed recently came under scrutiny after reporting that Trump directed his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
The story prompted a rare statement from special counsel Robert Mueller whose office said the article was "not accurate." HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen reacted to Trump's tweet, saying the people who lost their jobs did not deserve "cruelty" from the president.
"One thousand journalists lost their jobs last week. Ordinary people with rent to pay, families to support, student loan bills coming due. They are workers like any other who do not deserve this cruelty," Polgreen tweeted.
BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith called Trump's tweet a "disgusting" reaction to journalists losing their jobs.
"What a disgusting thing to say about dozens of American workers who just lost their jobs," he tweeted.
For BuzzFeed, it was the second round of job cuts in 14 months after it cut 100 jobs in the recent first round. The truth is that digital ad revenue is shrinking for online media companies as Facebook and Google have grabbed a larger pie of the digital advertising revenue.