Media layoff numbers grow rapidly in 2019

It is not surprising that this generation relies on social media for news. However, what young people do not realize is that this rise in reliance on social media results in a decline of media outlets.

Media outlets, such as Verizon and the many media companies they own such as Yahoo, announced that they have cut a percentage of their staff, specifically writers and photographers who specialize in topics such as sports, news and international news.

There has been a decline in newspapers over the years, but it was not until 2018 when layoffs were at their highest since 2009. In January, Vice Media announced it would cut 10 percent of its staff, while the Verizon companies cut 7 percent from its media team.

Dr. Natalie Winter, professor of marketing and management, said to bypass this issue, all media companies need to consider how the public likes to get its news and cater to them specifically.

“There is a ton of content being generated daily,” Winter said. “Sites need to figure out how to optimize the money that they spend to generate this content. Media companies need to develop original, engaging content and provide that content in a way that younger audiences will respond to, such as shorter articles and more visuals. Media companies have to learn how to respond to these changing dynamics if they want to experience ongoing success.”

Media outlets get most of their funding from advertisements, thus, because readers are starting to rely on social media sites for news, news outlets’ revenues are decreasing. 

Karina Jimenez, senior Spanish major, said since she is pursuing a career in media, she is aware of the layoffs and is not surprised by it.

“(Everyone in) this generation has at least one sort of social media platform. With technology evolving, it’s easier for us to find news a click away. The more social media becomes prominent, I do think there may be more people being laid off in upcoming years,” Jimenez said.

Brittaney Perkins, senior nursing major, said media outlets should try to embrace the rise in social media use to connect more with readers.

“When I am on campus during the week and can’t watch television news, I go to Facebook to get caught up on the latest. If they have not already, media outlets can create news apps to stay relevant,” Perkins said.

As social media advances, it can be detrimental to the future of media if outlets do not advance, too. Layoffs have been happening gradually over the years, so it is uncertain whether they will stop soon. The decisions media outlets make now will affect their future, so potential professionals and viewers will have to see what the future holds.

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