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What news industry layoffs say about journalism's future

Gannett owns nine Massachusetts dailies and The Providence Journal in Rhode Island. W. MARC BERNSAU
Gannett owns nine Massachusetts dailies and The Providence Journal in Rhode Island. W. MARC BERNSAU

On this edition of Your Call’s Media Roundtable, we discuss the wave of layoffs hitting the news industry.

More than 500 journalists lost their jobs in January. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal announced layoffs. Last week, the Los Angeles Times laid off more than 20 percent of its newsroom.

Last year, media companies slashed over 20,000 jobs. Poynter called it a bloodbath. An average of five local newspapers are closing every two weeks, according to Northwestern University’s Medill School.

This comes during an election year in which we are expecting even more disinformation and AI generated fake news.

What are solutions to this ongoing crisis?


Victor Pickard, professor of Media Policy and Political Economy at University of Pennsylvania, and author of Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society

Evan Brandt, reporter covering Pottstown, Pennsylvania for The Mercury

Alissa Quart, executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and author and editor of many books, including Going for Broke: Living on the Edge in the World’s Richest Country, Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America and Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream


Mother Jones: My Newspaper Was Gutted by Journalism’s Biggest Bogeyman

Nieman Lab: The news industry finally reckons with the political economy of journalism

The Washington Post: After budget slashing, more newspaper journalists plan one-day strikes

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.