(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Will Workplace Hardship Starting to Affect the Media Finally Get Them to See the Folly of Closing Down America?
One common refute that is flung at proponents of socialism is that they back such a system because they hope to be among the last one impacted by the inevitable oppression that is sure to follow. We are witnessing a microcosm of that very principle playing out in our media complex right now.
When the coronavirus shutdown commenced across this country we saw the press gleefully reporting on the detrimental aftereffects. There were daily details on how the stock market was being rocked, followed by how the economic downturn of a GLOBAL shutdown was dubbed ”Trump’s Economy”. Then as the unemployment figures came in the press feigned surprise at the steep numbers, resulting in a government-mandated shutdown of businesses.
Basically, we saw cheerleading taking place from the scribes and pundits, many of whom were doubtless feeling comfortable in their positions. After all, they were newsmen, and with all of this bad news floating around they were assured job security. Well they are beginning to see that it might not entirely be the case. The reality of furloughs and layoffs that many businesses have already experienced is beginning to leech into the news industry.
Some of the names affected are, not surprisingly, in the entertainment outlets. The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Magazine have announced they will be slashing staff by up to one-third. With movie theaters currently shuttered as well as movie and television productions shutting down, there is less content to cover in the current climate. But there are signs the greater media landscape can be affected.
The Los Angeles Times has announced it too will be letting workers go. For now, it looks to be centered on the operations side of things, as well as management taking some pay cuts to lower expenses. Vox Media has also come forward to say it expects to stay to furlough employees across a number of its outlets this week.
The chill that should shoot through the veins of members of the press is that the leading cause for this is not so much a lack of work as it is a severe drop in advertising revenue. The dual effect of the advertisers mostly being non-operational as well as the customers themselves not being capable of click-through purchasing, means that ad business is grinding to a halt.
So even as there is a copious amount of news content and an audience stuck at home consuming their content, there is barely a recognizable amount of the usual commerce taking place in these inflated audience figures. It is as if the newsmakers have created a demand while at the same time eliminating all of the sustaining revenue streams for their own platforms.
As desperate as this country is to get back to normalcy and return to our economic standard any motivation to bring that back to life is welcome. If it takes the press to finally feel the pains the rest of the country has been experiencing to get this to happen then all the better.