'The Entire Journalism Industry Is In Freefall': Taylor Lorenz Vlogs The Death Of MSM As BuzzFeed, Insider And Vice Jettison Assets

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 - 05:00 PM

Corporate media is on life support. Driven to cut costs by sagging ad revenues and waning appetite for propaganda, layoffs and 'restructurings' are happening all over.

Earlier this week the LA Times laid off 120 employees, around 20% of its newsroom.

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed and Vice Media - two former darlings of digital media, are looking to siphon off assets. BuzzFeed, which has lost over 97% of its value since going public in 2021, is looking to sell its food sites, Tasty and WeFeast. While Fortress Investment Group, which took over Vice in bankruptcy last year, is looking to sell its Refinery29 women's lifestyle site, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fortress is in talks to sell Refinery29 after a failed attempt to find a buyer for Vice in its entirety, which includes its namesake news brand, production studio and creative agency, among other assets. Fortress is in discussions with prospective bidders for Refinery29, which saw a decrease in revenue to $30 million last year from around $50 million in 2022, according to people familiar with the matter.

Vice notably bought Refinery29 for $400 million in 2019, while Tasty was an attempt by BuzzFeed to generate revenue streams beyond advertising with direct sales of kitchenware.

The outlets join Jezebel ("Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth"), which was shuttered in November by G/O Media amid corporate layoffs, and Business Insider, which is now cutting 8% of its staff, per Semafor.

Time Magazine also laid off 30 people this week.

In 2023, there were over 30,000 workers laid off by media companies.

This is the largest number of cuts in employment since 2020 when Covid-19 was raging and over 30,000 workers were laid off.

The figure is also six times higher than the number of job losses in 2022 when several large media companies including Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney and others had undergone a series of layoffs impacting thousands of media workers. -Forbes

Taylor, Taylor, Taylor

Opining on the sad state of journalism is Jeff Bezos's vocal-fry champion,Taylor Lorenz, who said this week that "The entire journalism industry is basically in a free-fall," and that the LA Times' woes follow "months and months of layoffs in the media industry."

"And it's not just digital media sites," she continues. "Local news has been obliterated, the newspaper industry is cratering, radio is essentially dead - aside from NPR which has been gutted. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers at Conde Nast, the parent company of pretty much every major magazine from GQ to Vogue to the New Yorker to Vanity Fair are on strike."

More on Taylor

Despite her claims that she is a grassroots reporter that worked her way up from independent media into the halls of establishment journalism, Taylor Lorenz represents the quintessential media spin doctor.  She is notorious for her consistent and often ludicrous defense of the Biden Administration, as well as her constant attacks on the alternative media; specifically on conservative YouTubers and social media accounts like Libs of TikTok. 

She became somewhat famous after her exposé on Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik in what many argued was an attempt to dox and intimidate a person critical of woke activists (the initial story published by Lorenz contained a link to the woman’s work address and other work details.  A later version of the story had the link removed). 

She was also accused of lying in an article about coverage of the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial when she claimed she had contacted certain YouTuber's for comment before publishing her attack on them (they say she did not and she had no evidence to support her assertions).  The Washington Post was forced to quietly stealth-edit her article in embarrassment.

The point is, Lorenz has made it clear by her actions that she views citizen journalists negatively if they aren't on the political left.  She has tried to sabotage them using dubious methods, and ironically it is this kind of behavior from corporate journalists like her that has led directly to the death of her industry.  It is this kind of biased behavior that has compelled the public to seek out the alternative media and abandon legacy platforms.   

No matter how much you hate journalists, it's not enough

In a 2022 Pew Research poll of US mainstream journalists of all ages, over 55% said that they don't believe all sides of any given story deserve equal coverage.  The youngest journalists (ages 18-29) were the worst, with 63% saying they did not agree with equal coverage.  Lorenz reflects this very sentiment as she rolls her eyes at the notion of objectivity in news writing.   

In a similar poll, over 76% of the general public said they want equal coverage of all sides by the media.  The disconnect between establishment news sources and what their audience wants is immense.  Given that progressive ideology is greatly over-represented in most corporate media, the public has simply sought out the other side of the story.       

Lorenz argues that she wouldn't want to live in a world where people get their news from sixty second TikToks (while posting her appeal to TikTok), but she knows full well that it's not TikTok journalism that's taking the legs out from under organizations like The Washington Post – It's the growing prevalence of the alternative media which she has lambasted for a large portion of her career.

That said, ultimately the picture Lorenz paints is actually a positive one (though she doesn't realize it).  The implosion of legacy media is an expression of the free market.  The public has spoken and finally these people are suffering the consequences of their dishonest activities.  And to be clear, no, legacy companies do not matter.  

They are not special or integral to the economy or to society.  They are not “too big to fail” and their collapse should be applauded after the years of disinformation and propaganda they have excreted on the doorsteps of the American populace.  They deserve this and the world is better off without them.  They are already being replaced with better companies and better journalists; may the free market run its course.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering - while corporate media has been imploding, ZeroHedge has been growing. We thank you for your readership.