More layoffs pummel print, digital news outlets: Pew Research

More layoffs pummel print, digital news outlets: Pew Research
© Getty Images

More than one-quarter of mid-market to large U.S. newspapers experienced layoffs in 2018, according to a new analysis, with digital-native news outlets also seeing a decrease in employees.

The Pew Research Center found that 27 percent of newspapers with an average circulation of 50,000 or more experienced one or more publicly reported layoffs last year. 

Digital-native news outlets also saw job cuts, with 14 percent of the digital-native news outlets with the highest traffic experiencing layoffs.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Pew analysis found that 31 percent of all daily newspapers had layoffs in 2018.

The number of layoffs in 2018 exceeded those that occurred in 2017, according to the a nonprofit, nonpartisan, Washington D.C.-based fact tank.

The statistics come while New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet is predicting that "most local newspapers are going to die in the next five years."

"The greatest crisis in American journalism is the death of local news," Baquet said at the International News Media Association World Congress in New York City in May. "I don't know what the answer is.

"Their economic model is gone. I think most local newspapers in America are going to die in the next five years, except for the ones that have been bought by a local billionaire," Baquet continued.

"I think that everybody who cares about news — myself included, and all of you — should take this on as an issue," the 62-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner added. "Because we’re going to wake up one day and there are going to be entire states with no journalism or with little tiny pockets of journalism.

"I’m not worried about Los Angeles and New York. I don’t know what the model is for covering the school boards in Newark, N.J. That makes me nervous,” Baquet added.

Unlike most newspapers nationwide, The New York Times and The Washington Post have seen revenue and digital subscription increases since the Trump presidency began in January 2017.