Contained here are notes and musings, not a formal statement of my position on any matter in particular.
On January 23, 2019, the following headlines crossed the wire:
- BuzzFeed to cut 15% of staff in new round of layoffs (Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter for CNN Business)
- Gannett lays off journalists across the country (Tom Jones for Poynter)
- Verizon to cut 7% of staff from media division (Seth Fiegerman for CNN Business)
(Note: I don’t think the publications listed above broke their respective stories; I just selected their headlines off the top of a search query.)
It’s weird for me. Although I nominally perform the role of someone “in media” (as a reporter and data analyst for our news team and other news organizations on-demand) I identify first as an employee “in tech.”
After all, I’m employed by a technology company, and prior to becoming a professional writer I co-founded a tech startup that didn’t really go anywhere. These days, separate and apart from my day job, as a volunteer I help organize startup pitch events for a large open source software foundation.
Apart from my colleagues on my small team, I don’t spend a lot of time interacting with other folks in the news business. My closest friends are in finance and/or software engineering, or started their own businesses.
In other words, there are a lot of countervailing forces against me self-identifying as someone “in media,” even though, in practice, that’s the functional and ecological niche I occupy.
I don’t know how this reflects on me, but apart from feeling bad that people from the publications mentioned above are losing their jobs, I don’t know what to say about the broader narrative of media’s decline.
The tech-aligned entrepreneur in me sees an opportunity for smaller newsrooms and something resembling old-school blogs and newsletters run by one or two folks. I don’t know if more dyed-in-the-wool media folks feel the same way.