500 Journalists Laid Off in January

The decline of the mainstream media continued in the first month of 2024, with over 500 journalists being fired in January alone.

As Politico reports, there were 538 layoffs in the month of January in the media industry, including jobs in print, broadcast, and digital media. The report from Challenger, Gray, & Christmas suggests that the trend first seen in 2023 will not be slowing down in 2024. Last year, there were 3,087 layoffs in the news industry, which marked the highest annual total since the 16,060 firings in the year 2020, which was primarily due to the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the outlets which reported layoffs include Time Magazine, Business Insider, the Los Angeles Times, and NBC News. Of these four, the Los Angeles Times saw the most layoffs, at over 100. The magazine Sports Illustrated also announced in January that it would be facing a “significant reduction” of its 100-member team, while Pitchfork is also facing firings ahead of being folded into the magazine GQ.

The new outlet The Messenger, which launched less than one year ago, announced the shuttering of its operations “effective immediately” on Wednesday.

“This is a continuation of the trend of what’s happening throughout last year,” said Tim Franklin, a dean at Northwestern’s Medill journalism school. Although he admitted that “layoffs tend to happen either at the end of the year or the beginning of the year just because a lot of news companies are trying to lay a foundation for the upcoming year,” he nevertheless described the staggering amount of layoffs as “breathtaking.”

At the Los Angeles Times in particular, the firings overwhelmingly included minority employees, with the paper losing 38% of its Hispanic employees, 36% of its black employees, and 34% of its Asian and Middle Eastern employees.

Observers also note the layoffs coming at the beginning of what is expected to be a contentious election year, with press coverage more focused than ever before on the stakes of the 2024 election, which is setting up to be a rematch of Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Recycling bin for newspapers at Santa Monica Recycling Center, Los Angeles County, California, USA