Billionaires Are Journalism's False Saviors
Briefly

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times announced that it would lay off at least 115 journalists, 20 percent of the newsroom. The cuts would have been larger were it not for the newspaper's union, which fought back and walked out of the office for one day last week in protest. The cuts follow a previous round of layoffs last June, meaning the Times has lost around one-third of its staff in under a year. The same day, Time announced cuts of its own. Condé Nast was already on the way to cutting 5 percent of its workforce when also on Tuesday, members of the company's union walked out after the company proposed significant layoffs and downsized its original severance offer. Earlier, Univision announced significant cuts and the company that owns Sports Illustrated laid off most, perhaps all, unionized staff, which could kill the storied magazine. The Washington Post slashed its newsroom late last year. Journalism's fate was never assured, but now it looks bleaker every year.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times announced that it would lay off at least 115 journalists, 20 percent of the newsroom.
Many of these companies had been purchased by billionaires who struck an altruistic pose. At one time, they said they believed in journalism, not the bottom line. When billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong purchased the L.A. Times in 2018, he "knew in my heart of hearts" that "we need to protect the newsroom ... I came in there with an inner belief it's all or nothing," he said in 2021. Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in part because it's an "important institution," the New York Times recently noted.
Many of these companies had been purchased by billionaires who struck an altruistic pose.
Read at Intelligencer
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