Media Carnage

April 2, 2020 3:44 p.m.

According to this report, CQ/Roll Call has laid off between 20 and 30 people, mostly from editorial. It’s not clear to me from the report whether this is all from Roll Call proper, in which case it would be as much as half the staff or if it is across the various niche publication that CQ Roll Call publishes, which is a substantially larger group. Either way it is yet another big round of layoffs which appear to be spurred or are at least coinciding with the COVID-19 crisis.

Some of these moves are likely opportunistic. Others are cases where layoffs were probably coming at some point but the COVID crisis was the final straw. In many cases, the COVID-19 crisis is just driving publications out of existence.

People are losing jobs in the millions across the economy. But we are even more dependent today on quality journalism. It’s hit local media particularly hard, with layoffs at numerous publications. A number of local papers have either ceased print publication, reduced frequency or shut down altogether. Here’s a list of just some of the examples. Big companies with corporate backing have greater ability to navigate the crisis. But they’re being hit too.

It seems very clear that a lot of the news capacity and a significant number of publications that were here at the front of the crisis will not be here when it is over.

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