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McClatchy Follows BuzzFeed, Vice, and Others in Cutting Staff (miaminewtimes.com)
137 points by creaghpatr 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 106 comments

In the wise words of Martin Shkreli, who sounds even wiser from jail..

The web media layoffs remind us that there is no money in virtue signaling. Major media will get back to real news. The ‘fakeout’ caused by companies like Vice and Buzzfeed will retract and the CBS/ABC/NBCs of the world will realize ‘woke’ culture and uber-progressivism won’t pay the bills. People want the news, not preaching. Companies like Buzzfeed (hungry for a merger) are still upside down on cost structure and will go bankrupt. Startups, such as Gawker’s latest iteration, actually have a risk of imploding on their own smug, before they prove they’re not viable businesses, either. More 20-somethings will realize that their calling of ‘speaking truth to power’ (by trying to usurp power itself) is a distant second to operating profit. No operating profit, no whining about the benefits of socialism, sorry.

reference: http://martinshkreli.com/uncategorized/1-26-2019/

I actually think Martin Shkreli is right to a degree. A business has to profit to be successful but not necessarily profit by any means necessary. As this can be a short sighted strategy.

The reality is that these news outlets abandoned their stakeholders and instead decided to push an agenda for a myopic few. The reality is that these news outlets should be seeking truth and not pushing an agenda. Truth will always build you wider coalition and thus profits will ensue.

Why is this being down voted? Do people think that unbiased news is a bad thing or something? That these news outlets should have progressive convictions in everything they make?

Sure they can exist, but they shouldn't occupy the entire mainstream landscape unless the entire population is on board with those convictions.

Because it's a pointless comment. Fox "News" is the leading provider of television news in the United States by a wide margin. They have a widely conservative bent and one of their anchors has nightly talks with the President.


The claim that news can be unbiased is silly as all news has to be reported through a lens. The claim that news media has a "liberal bias" is a long standing conservative talking point going back to the 1970s where news media was listed as slightly liberal and then everyone ignored the follow that showed that media had self corrected based on the report.

Claiming that there's a "liberal news problem" just points out that conservatives don't like that "their President" is getting "unfairly attacked" by the media. This completely ignores that conservative media frequently runs literal conspiracy theories that have led to real life shootings with little regard to the outcome.

The point being that claiming that there's some grand liberal conspiracy ignores the fact that most of the news organizations OP cited will actually issue corrections. Fox news rarely issues them and most other mainstream conservative commentators never do because they claim they are "infotainment".

For so many news/media companies to be cutting all at the same time, I wonder if they're all having issues with earning enough ad revenue all of a sudden? Maybe the high spenders like Squarespace, BlueApron, and MailChimp are pulling back ad spend?

It’s not all of a sudden. I worked for a McClatchy newspaper before 2010. This was before what now seems like annual layoffs, but there were still large cutbacks and buyouts because McClatchy made the mistake of buying the Knight Ridder papers (which includes the San Jose Mercury News and Miami Herald) at peak price, taking a huge loan to do so, not realizing that newspapers were a downward spiraling industry. McClatchy has been saddled with massive debt since, and while I was there, digital revenue wasn’t even enough to cover the debt interest.

I pointed this out in another one of the lay-off topic HN threads (the linked twitter thread isn’t me)

You’re plenty spot on within the entire media world.


It would be interesting to know how much of this news comes from selling advertisements, vs selling stories. If a company isn't making money from ads, then they're getting money from somewhere else.

A basic breakdown is:



Cover sales

Syndicationed content

Ads are probably the main source now, but subscriptions are still a main source as well.

In some cases investments in production tools or systems or even original creations can be a boon.

Actual percentages would vary amongst publishers

Just a guess, but some of these companies are highly leveraged (mcclatchy definitely is), which isn't sustainable when rates have been hiked and revenue doesn't grow to match. If they're calendar year, now is the time they have to evaluate their next debt rollover. Hence the layoffs.

The three you listed are big spenders in the world of independent youtube channels and podcasters, but are they also big customers in the context of Vice or BuzzFeed?

It's January when ad spends are usually much lower than the preceeding holiday season.

There are currently backs accross the board, but on the outside it's hard to say if those are seasonal or not.

It's that these companies have been VC funded for most of their existence, as they focus on going public, they realized they need to cut back.

You’re right in part, but even publicly-shared media companies are doing the same thing.

without re-iterating my views about the political affiliation of these outfit. Just seeing the timing of it, all at the same time, is indeed suspicious.

Another posted suggested that they have hired at disproportionally large numbers. Seems like a plausible explanation, if true.

May be it related to some political changes.

Or, may be, there is an unseen 'consolidation' that will commence (layoffs in tech industry, often precedes takeovers).

Just speculating, though.

I definitely feel, that people will not pay for opinion pieces, but will pay for investigative journalism.

However, investigative journalism, in my view, lacks economic model.

It is quite resource intensive, but there is no 'story origination fee' of some sort. So it has to live of donations, which could make it very biased.

I'm not convinced it's all that suspicious. Some immediate thoughts:

- it's the start of a new year. New budgets. Plus laying people off just before the holidays is a baaaad look.

- it's a lot easier to do this when lots of other outlets are doing it too, because you'll get less attention

- all these companies rely on advertising for revenue, often from the exact same sources. So any softening in ad prices would affect a lot of people at once.

- this is actually the latest in a long, long line of media layoffs and redundancies

That is certainly how I feel. There are a lot of good free bloggers out there that have better opinion pieces than those in the establishment media, and there is no way I’m going to pay for the latter. At the same time, I greatly value the media’s role in investigative journalism and wish I could support outlets / journalists that break important quality investigative news, but there really isn’t a good way to do that.

I think video functions as a much better format for investigative reporting though - it is much more engaging, slightly more trustworthy (because you don’t have to e.g. trust the journalist’s description of tone / body language, although selective editing can still be done), and harder for other media outlets that haven’t done the investigative legwork to just copy and redistribute.

While I didn't downvote you, one could certainly make the argument that "how you feel" is, well, maybe a little...idiosyncratic and perhaps not that well-informed?

First: I'm sure there are "good free bloggers" out there, but there's far, far fewer that aren't associated with new media companies now than there were a decade ago. Making money as an independent blogger is exceedingly difficult in 2019 in a way that just wasn't as true in 2009.

Second: McClatchy, BuzzFeed, and Vice are all known for investigative journalism, not opinion pieces. McClatchy was once considered one of the best newspaper companies in the business, primarily based on investigative work; while Vice and BuzzFeed certainly are known for clickbait material, they've both been funding serious news stories for years. "Free bloggers" just aren't competition in this space.

Third: You know that BuzzFeed in particular is in the straits that they're in because they tried to pivot to video, right? Mashable is nearly out of business because of their attempt to do so. Also, investigative journalism tends to rely on, well, investigation, not "descriptions of tone and body language."

Fourth: there is, in fact, a really good way to support investigative journalism. It's--you know what I'm going to say, right?--paying for it. It turns out that an awful lot of newspapers, magazines, and journalism web sites have mechanisms set up that enable you to give them money, often on a recurring basis!

Huh. Why are people downvoting me? I don't think my opinion is particularly controversial, and I'm genuinely curious which part people disagree with...

Well BlueApron is on the rocks too, aren't they? So that's definitely possible.

Are they pulling back ad spend or moving it to higher performing platforms like Facebook feed? I wouldn't be surprised if it's one of the reasons papers have been so anti-fb recently.


This is a stupid conspiracy theory to spread.

The money was never spent as of less than a year ago. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/04/world/europe/state-depart...

President trump’s administration controlled the spending of these funds and clearly they weren’t very eager to do so.

So the counter argument is that the Trump admin didn't found Huff Post? The original plan was that Trump would lose.

Hmm, so opposing view points should be silenced because you don't agree with them? I don't even agree with the one I posted but you felt you had to silence me for mentioning it exists.

I don't even mind that your NYT article doesn't seem to be about the NDAA signing that moved $160 [0], not $120 million to fight disinformation. Are you sure you that is the same topic?

[0] Two years at $80 million each https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/hrpt840/CRPT-114hrpt840.pd...

Of the $160m, $120m was allocated to the state department. Please see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countering_Foreign_Propagand... if you want to educate yourself.

I didn’t “silence” you I responded with facts. It’s fine to share a conspiracy theory for discussion/analysis IMO but it should always at least be accompanied with the facts so that people are not tricked into believing the fake news.

Sharing it without a debunking, despite a disclaimer that you don’t believe it, makes your disclaimer less than credible in many cases.

If you disseminate the message, it is your message.

He's absolutely not wrong.

Do you remember where you learn the things you do? If you see something and think it is wise, do you always remember who you learned it from?

Ideas survive only because they're shared. Bad ideas are those that survive in spite of reasonable criticisms.

Facebook is becoming less useful for spreading clickbait garbage, so that may be part of it.

It may sound harsh, but IMHO these outlets are highly redundant, from quality of journalism to political stands. Just the same news retold the same way to the same audience

If it'll get newspaper to snap out of reporting their opinion pieces and baises, I'm all for it. I don't wish the layoffs on anyone, however, they don't seem to push a great value for their customers.

I want to see good quality reporting, and I don't want them to try to inject their selective editing/political agenda in it.

Each and literally every piece of media you consume has its bias. Vice, Buzzfeed, McClatchy, etc. make very clear their biases, which is certainly more than one can expect of submarining, facts-optional pieces from much of the "unbiased" media. "Good quality reporting" is inherently and inescapably biased. It inherently and inescapably relies upon the point of view of the reporter or the investigator and that of the editor who determines whether a story deserves publication and thus attention (for who in the modern era does not understand at least the basics of an attention economy?).

But, of course, it's funny how this complaint truly surfaces when those biases are ones that the complainant does not like. It's interesting how biases that do not challenge the majority intersection of "affluent, white, male" get so much leash in places like HN.

>It's interesting how biases that do not challenge the majority intersection of "affluent, white, male" get so much leash in places like HN

Want more evidence that this is total bullshit? My comment below calling this out was flagged. Yours, which originated the flamebait topic, was not.

Tell me again how much "leash" the affluent white male bias gets on this board.

What's funny is your obliviousness.


Reporting is always biased. There's a limited number of stories you can investigate, and someone has to make that choice. "What deserves resources/attention" is one of the fundamental political questions.

"News is supposed to be objective."

News should strive for objectivity. But all news organizations need to make decisions. What do they include or omit from a story? What do they think is necessary to explain versus what the audience will already know? How do you present complex issues without veering into technical jargon most readers can't understand? Which photo and headline do they choose to go with the story?

These are subjective decisions all journalists and editors need to make.

The dangerous nonsense is pointing selectively at what you dislike and claiming they’re biased, while ignoring that everything in the space is biased. Saying that reporting is “biased” is like saying that water is wet. The issue isn’t bias, the issue is undisclosed bias, bias so strong that it leads the story rather than the other way around, bias that leads to lies, and so on. Simply crying “bias” is the definition of a shallow dismissal.

“Bias” as a generalized complaint is effectively a straw man to beat up when debating the actual facts would be untenable, or make you looks like an asshole. If you think that isn’t obvious, think again.

Yeah, you've got it. Your post reminds me of Sam Harris falling all over himself to hold up Charles Murray's racist-ass "research" as some kind of unimpeachable thing--mostly because Murray, as a crank, would talk to Harris, because Murray, as a crank, will talk to anyone who will listen--but demanded of anyone who would dispute Murray the third degree in an gish-gallopingly exhaustive manner.

Which is why it's usually the high-handed rationalist, the claimant of no bias, who is trying to sell you a pig in a poke. They either don't know it's just /r/iamverysmart stuff or don't care, but they're selling you something. Not the reporter with a story on their hands who admits to having an opinion.

Reporters are people. All people have inescapable biases. It is naive to assume there is some easy way to be "objective".

I don't think anybody is saying there is an easy way to be objective. Objectivity being difficult to achieve is still a far cry from impossible, not an excuse, and nothing new. Since ancient Greece, philosophers have been devoted to building logical processes and ethics in order to make it more possible to get close to the objective truth, such as the Aristotelian processes of observation, abstraction, definition, induction, syllogism, the definition of archai (first principles), etc.. Objective truth has always been elusive, but its pursuit is something that historically has allowed civilization to advance (especially true for western civilization).

Now we are hearing excuses (including in this thread) which are nothing more than cheap cop-outs, they are rationalizing their own acquiescence or surrender to intellectual laziness, logical fallacy, ignorance, and social irresponsibility. The fact is this lowering of standards is very useful for some people, and provides wiggle room to dishonest liars and frauds who would otherwise not be trusted, should be obvious.

Yes, one's senses are limited, one's knowledge is limited, and while investigating a story you are likely going to hear different versions from every witness to whom you speak. But what do you say to those who refuse to listen to contradicting yet valid information and/or viewpoints?

There is a large gap between those who are engaged in the pursuit of objective truth who nonetheless fail, and those who have their excuses loaded up while they tirelessly work to build consensus around what has become a narrative for a completely false reality. We are starting to see a bias against objective truth, a prevalence of defense mechanisms against logic and reason, and more and more demands for "allegiance" or "belief" in a given agenda-based narrative.

With more differing points of view intermingling than ever before, giving in to bias has never been more dangerous.

tldr: Just because its hard doesn't mean its not an important pursuit, much less take it as an excuse to accept the defeat of lowered standards or actual fraud for our perception of reality.

I think your point here is right on. We're seeing this thread devolve into a war between two opposing perspectives: either (a) "real" news organizations are objective and better sources than Huffington Post or Buzzfeed, or (b) all sources are biased and the other side just doesn't want to recognize that.

This seems like a false dichotomy to me. Surely there will always be some bias, and it will affect all the editorial decisions made by an organization and change the way topics are reported by journalists. However, just because bias can't be entirely eliminated, doesn't mean that there aren't objective standards of what constitutes minimally fair reporting. There are such standards; clearly discussing and defending these standards is an important goal.

It's for this reason that we can say that Reuters is a better, more objective source of news than the Huffington Post. And the latter is a better, more objective source of news than Breitbart. We can take such a position, and encourage others to seek out sources like Reuters, without taking the extreme position that Reuters is this fully unbiased magical source of objective news. Of course it isn't, but it doesn't have to be.

> This is dangerous nonsense and I think it is a travesty that such an opinion has been effectively normalized. News is supposed to be objective.

Bovine excrement and worse words. It is not an opinion that has been normalized. It is an acknowledgement of reality, of the lack of objective observers in any field not directly measurable with a pair of calipers--and it is a reality that people of certain epistemic closures wish to attack because that reality threatens those epistemic closures and the goals they wish to achieve with them.

Usually venal goals. But I digress.

So yeah, it's worse than not nonsense, at least for your argument: it's history. It's reality. News is not and has not ever been objective at any point you will name. Setting aside any reporting at all? At the absolute minimum, the most trusted names in news at any point in mass media have been selective in what they reported through that mass media apparatus and that is itself bias. Meanwhile? You have people the "unbiased news!" folks want to point at, like Walter Cronkite, who directly formed Americans' opinion on the Vietnam War by declaring it a "stalemate". No "unbiased news" would say that; they'd just say "well, this is happening". But to not characterize the state of the conflict would itself mislead those consuming that news. "Unbiased news" is the box score and nothing more and it's a superficial and broken way of viewing the world.

Meat robots get by on the box score. Thinking creatures require context and no context will ever, ever be unbiased. Analysis--filtering, concluding, fact-checking--is part of news. And it cannot be separated from an attention economy either personal or societal.

I'm sorry that that upsets you so, but only a little.

So there was something that really opened my eyes, the story goes like this:

Chic fa la has now just gotten in trouble for not letting someone use their bathroom.

Insert other witnesses or talk about 2nd parties in the story.

Chickfla is the group that came under contrivesery for supporting anti gay charities.

Look for that you'll see it in a lot of stories. I started noticing that when I saw the Milo stories on the BBC. They like to harp on something that he did (usually it's something that the writer doesn't like), they'll also inflate the second party members in the story [who was surrounding it] to their liking (we'll the SPLC said this and that), and then they'll try to bring a call back to something that'll make the person look bad and unrelated (i.e. prior controversy).

Like/dislike the guy, the selective journalism/editing and the unrelated call back is: unproductive, dishonest, and is propaganda.

> But, of course, it's funny how this complaint truly surfaces when those biases are ones that the complainant does not like. It's interesting how biases that do not challenge the majority intersection of "affluent, white, male" get so much leash in places like HN.

I think you should point that out if it's a legitimate concern. (I mean not concern trolling i.e. "well all the interviewed was white people" vs "from the people they interviewed were white and se engineers which is a concern when talking about COL")

> Like/dislike the guy, the selective journalism/editing and the unrelated call back is: unproductive, dishonest, and is propaganda.

No, it's context. You cannot reduce political action--and "political action" should be understood as any action between people or groups, there is no light switch to turn it off or on--to a single-shot prisoner's dilemma game. The game is infinite. Your history matters. The context of your actions in the body politic matters.

News organizations have a duty to place events into context, and...this is that context.

Should we consider the time that you said the N word as an edgy teen in middle school? It's apart of your history.

Different unrelated events aren't context.

We certainly should take into context something like that, yes. For me, that particular thing didn't happen--I was never quite so far to the right wing as to think racial slurs were anything but unacceptable--but I was a shitty libertarian know-it-all. I've never been shitty enough to out and deadname trans people like Milo fucking Yiannopoulos, and I've never been shitty enough to cape up for bad-science racists like Charles Murray, but I've been shitty. I said things that made people mad (because they made me feel superior) and hurt people (because they intellectually made sense, because I was so rational and also had never had a hard day in my life).

Then I grew up, then I realized I was being shitty, and I stopped. And since I have made a point of standing up for the right things, instead, while not ducking that I too have been shitty.

That's more context, and that context, eventually and with hard work, does balance the scales.

It just isn't that complicated.


I knew that wasn't right.. oh well. I haven't been to one in a long time (it's not convenient for me to go anymore)

I think it may not, because we live in the "attention economy" for media. I think it would take something to reverse this somehow, because it incentivizes "hot takes".

this week I had two fantasies:

- kickstarter for investigative journalism. Get decent writers, get people that are willing to pay to hear about what they find, and hope they maintain ethics and integrity.

- a monthly news source, that is focused on "slow news". Sure, XYZ happened, 30 days later, what's relevant. 3 months later, what was the overall trend? It's not meta, but definitely "slow" and the goal is to focus on the moving average vs the noisy data.

> kickstarter for investigative journalism. Get decent writers, get people that are willing to pay to hear about what they find, and hope they maintain ethics and integrity.

That's been done multiple times, mostly recently with Civil, which combines freelance journalism with the blockchain! https://civil.co/

Almost all of them fail due to salary costs. https://www.coindesk.com/civil-startup-token-crypto-ethereum

> freelance journalism with the blockchain!

There's nothing new under the sun. Well back to the drawing board...

> kickstarter for investigative journalism

That's a newspaper subscription

> a monthly news source, that is focused on "slow news"

That's a magazine

Specifically, the New York Times and the New Yorker. They've both been around for 100+ years.

Sometimes the tech industry bubble produces hilarious comments...

Do you read either, right now?

The NYT is suuuuuuuper biased. I want liberal freedoms to be allowed to people, but they are pushing an agenda. Really strong.

I don't want to subsidize the stories I don't care about. That's the difference. Why should we?

The New Yorker is a little better, but it's still "people" focused. I want more macro views.

I tried WSJ and Financial Times. Both suffered a bit from "fluff" and I wasn't going to give them $300/yr to feel like I was paying for filler.

I'm sad that you think I'm incapable of appreciating newspapers or magazines. I just think that both of those concepts are failing. What's the future look like?


Here's the bad news: there is no such thing as unbiased news. For example:

> I don't want to subsidize the stories I don't care about.

You, as the chooser (or editor) of stories are introducing bias already, before any reporting is done.

It almost reads as if the person to whom you reply wants their own personal biases reinforced.


In spite of some of those comments I’d like to point out there are a lot of great magazines still running


- The Atlantic

- Harpers

- Wired still does great long form

- Bloomberg Businessweek does as well

- Help me out people...


- Maclean’s

- the Walrus

- Taddle Creek

The concepts aren’t failing. They still inspire lengthy discussions and awareness on a wide range of subjects. And they’re available in multiple forms- paper, web, and other digital subscriptions like in house apps or Google or Apple News

Both are doing fine financially.

I'm glad that you are thinking about it. I don't know if there are any easy solutions.

Opinion pieces and biases are the thing that will stay. They are cheap and easy to write.

Good reporting costs money. A lot of money.

Also, don't confuse our prevailing normative social biases with a 'lack of bias'.

The Huffington Post dropped its whole opinion section[1], so that seems to contradict your statement.

- [1] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/huffington-post-shut...

Does it?

It's been almost a decade since I last looked at HuffPost, but what original reporting do they do? Back in those days, it was all opinion pieces, or piggybacking on other's original reporting.

If they don't do any original reporting, then dropping the opinion section doesn't contradict anything.

When Google and Facebook control 80% of the advertising market through surveillance duopoly, 20% goes to all the publishers in the world. They are starving. I call it Google's War on Journalism.

adapt or die. facebook and google offer a demonstrably better ad targeting platform than any newspaper can offer. if people value high quality journalism then they should be willing to pay via subscriptions.

Adapt or die or be constantly followed and listened to by the surveillance multinational corporations. I hope you enjoy being spied on 24x7, including in your bedroom.

i dont understand, no one is forcing you as an individual to use any of these services or buy any of these devices. they also don't produce news, they just offer a better solution for advertisers. it's not like these media outlets are altruistic truth seekers anyway, although some journalists are. the NYT is a publicly traded business, Buzzfeed built whatever legitimate journalism it does on the back of clickbait gossip trash, and vice has devolved into a caricature of what it once was.

> i dont understand, no one is forcing you as an individual to use any of these services or buy any of these devices

Not to be too contrarian or tin-foil-y, but this is a bit simplistic view of modern advertising platforms.

These companies absolutely have troves of information about you, even if you've never interacted with them directly. Your social circle indirectly shares information about you, retailers share information about you, etc. Regardless of whether you use a platform like Facebook, it has a profile of who you are.

Saying you're not forced to use their services or devices is only trivially true: Sure, you're not forced to use it directly, but you might as well be given that they're collecting your information regardless.

And sure, you're not forced to buy from retailers who share your information or have acquaintances that use Gmail, but it's in the same way that you're not forced to buy produce that Monsanto has touched in some way - basically, good luck.


Please don't do this here.

Edit: we've asked you repeatedly not to post ideological flamebait to HN. If you keep doing it, we will ban you.

I was wondering if this five word off the cuff remark was too political. My apologies.


Pretty sure nobody has been driven to suicide by being told to "learn to code". If you have evidence that supports this assertion then I would be happy to see it. It sounds exaggerated at best.

As to the actual claims: the first article you posted includes a tweet that has many examples of articles which emphasize how the "heartland" can switch to coding as a viable alternative to coal mining and the like. The issue is that there is an underlying implication in those articles that such skills can be learned and applied by coal miners at large. But many / most coal miners probably aren't suited to being coders. Just like many journos are not suited to being coders.

Both your statements are just incorrect. The articles are reporting on efforts in coal mining towns to actually teach unemployed blue collar workers how to code. None of these articles were prescriptive, they were all describing events taking place.

These articles did not say, "Hey why don't these guys just learn to code." The articles say, "Hey, there is an effort on the ground to teach unemployed blue collar workers some technical skills. Will this work, we don't know yet. But it interesting and worth reporting on."

The other comment is clearly a misreading of what I wrote. I never said journalists have killed themselves from this harassment. I said the goal of this harassment was to make the journalists lives so miserable that they want to kill themselves. Feel free to take a trip in to /pol/ and check for yourself what the sentiment is but here are a couple quotes from the articles I linked that demonstrate that.

“I’m not ready to declare victory until these maggots are killing themselves with a live stream”

"Making them a hero is goal anon :)"

Please quit pretending like this is some harmless game. Be bold and take a real stand. This isn't about teaching journalists a lesson for being flippant about the problems of blue-collar workers.

If it were, why are they targeting journalists who didn't write articles about coal miners learning to code.

And furthermore, why does this rest on easily disprovable claim that the articles were somehow prescriptive in nature, and not simply reporting on experiments underway in some of these communities?

For example, Taila Lavin, the author of the New Republic article never wrote anything about miners or any other blue collar workers learning to code. If this was about punishing people who were dismissive of blue collar workers, why target her? Clearly that's not the goal. The goal is to target journalists as a group, regardless of what they have written.

If you believe journalism is not a worthwhile profession, and people who write things that don't align with your personal belief system should just shut up or face harassment, why don't you just come out an say it? Why hide behind code words like this?

Spamming a stupid joke at someone on twitter is far right harassment? Good lord, all that's necessary is to not look at your notifications for a week until the meme passes and you'll never even notice anything happened.

I came here and scrolled down to look for the first instance of that meme and post something like what you did but you beat me to it.


If it's so easy I'm assuming you can provide absolutely any proof at all backing up what you're saying?

Yes, but there's no evidence connecting it to the companies laying people off.

Those are generally the companies who received the monies.

I can’t tell if these layoffs are good or bad.

Depends on who they lay off, but it does mean they'll have less resources to do investigative journalism.

Hidden Brain had a good podcast episode on the costs of newspapers going out of business.


Unless you're a shady person, then it's all good news :(

None of these outlets do investigative journalism.

Buzzfeed has an investigative journalism arm[0] that its built over the last ~7 years. They were a 2018 Pulitzer finalist[1].

I assume their clickbait subsidizes their investigative journalism, a business model that gives me hope given the importance of investigative journalism. Unfortunately that hope is tempered by the recent round of layoffs.

[0] https://www.buzzfeednews.com/investigations [1] https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/staff-buzzfeed-news

Oddly enough, the major reason I don't trust their investigative reporting was one of the articles that made them a 2018 Pulitzer finalist: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18947852 It was pretty much a conspiracy theory about Russian mind control chemicals disguised as a long-form article about the British police ignoring the supposed assassination of a scientist by the Russians.

How many times to they appear on this list? I mean... an article about journalistic dishonesty is titled Beyond Buzzfeed! [0]

[0] https://theintercept.com/2019/01/20/beyond-buzzfeed-the-10-w...

At the moment I write this, the #1 item on the HN front page is a BuzzFeed News investigative piece[1], "One of the Biggest At-Home DNA Testing Companies Is Working with the FBI".

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19057643

It's been about 5 years since I last read McClatchy, but assuming they haven't changed much, your statement is ridiculous. They were one of the few major newspapers in the US to still do investigations. It was the only US based newspaper I would read because it was the only major paper out there to provide different perspectives on many events at the time (e.g. Guantanamo Bay). They weren't opinion pieces, but actual journalists going out and publishing things no one else was looking into.

It took less than a minute to find this: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/investigations/

Buzzfeed have one of the best investigative bureaus in the world.


According to whom and on what basis? Their standards for publication seem to be low, AFAICT [1] [2].

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/business/buzzfeed-donald-...

[2] https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2019/01/20/the-liber...

One thing I learned the hard way a couple of years ago - when the company starts cutting back, you're better off being in the first couple of rounds of layoffs than being a "nonexpendable" who they hang on to until the bitter end. I was at a struggling startup that went through round after round of layoffs, offering generous severance packages in each round, until there were only like 10 of us left. Then one day they completely ran out of money and I showed up and the doors were locked and there was a note informing us that we were unemployed effective immediately and we would be paid out the remainder of the week.

First round. You aren't competing with your colleagues for jobs, you don't have to deal with survivor's guilt, and generally the severance will be better (or exist at all) because they either feel guilty or are still interested in virtue signalling by making sure you're taken care of.

The main downside of first round is explaining why you were in the first round.

The layoffs themselves— I think we'll have to wait and see.

What the layoffs may mean for the future of journalism (McClatchy being a solid source of good journalism) doesn't give me a good feeling.

Unless you're some top hat wearing, moustache twirling villain I don't see how layoffs are good news. Let's not get too arrogant just because our field is on a high. Too young to be affected by 2000 or 2008 or just lacking sympathy in general?


Can you please make your substantive points without crossing into personal attack, even if another comment is wrong or annoying?

Downvotes and flags are usually sufficient to convey the latter anyhow (as above).

That thousands of families are going without income is a real point that I made. This will be devastating for people and pointing that out is entirely appropriate. Expressing that passionately is appropriate.

Sure, and you can do that without personal attacks.

Layoffs are bad for the individual in the short term, but not necessarily bad in the medium or long term, because it frees those people to engage in more economically productive activity.

If I go by what I see on Twitter, it seems they're mostly cutting LGBTQ+ people and writers of color. Whether that's good or bad depends on your perspective.

edit: I said "If I go by." I didn't say it was the case. It's a non-judgmental observation.

They also hired a disproportionately large number into the roles they are cutting so it would make sense that they would be cut at higher rates.

>> "They also hired a disproportionately large number"

Did they? I haven't seen any statistics.

Weird. That is what I was gonna reply to YOUR comment.

I asked for a source on a falsifiable assertion.

Do you routinely ask people to go and collect data for casual observations? I don't know why this one has people so up in arms when they happen all the time here at HN.

Going by what you see on Twitter is probably the bad perspective.

One reason could be that people of those demographics are more outspoken on twitter.

If that was the case, there would be a MASSIVE lawsuit with lots of money to be made by the people let go and lawyers involved.

Is this a case of "play stupid games, win stupid prizes"?

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