The Washington Post announces layoffs, but CEO refuses to answer staff questions at meeting (video)

Originally published at: The Washington Post announces layoffs, but CEO refuses to answer staff questions at meeting (video) | Boing Boing


Well this is bad news. The WaPo is one of a very small number of American news media institutions that has the resources and inclination for serious independent journalism. Plus their Op-Ed page is usually a lot less odious than the New York Times.


Sorry to see WaPo layoffs of some of the last living (but endangered species) real journalists.
WaPo is one of the great newspapers that has survived into the age of Social Media. It is a touchstone.

Also, disappointed to see the Twitter code insert embed in this article; by doing so, you are giving that hellscape all your BoingBoing readers’ metadata. Do we have to start blocking that crap at our firewalls every time we read BoingBoing to avoid it? If you must put a social media post in an article or post, please just take a jpg screen cap instead of embed.


I’m not sure why they bothered with the town hall format. An internal e-mail announcement would have been unpleasant but at wouldn’t have teased that management was interested in an actual dialogue.


If only someone with near infinite resources could purchase the company! Oh… wait


I can suggest some highly paid opinion writers who could easily be eliminated to save money, with no loss of journalistic value. Start by getting rid of the toupee of inanity, George Will. Then libertarian fool Megan McArdle. Move on to official piece of shit and master of wrongness, Marc Thiessen. Finish by defenestrating Hugh Hewitt, who is consciously, deliberately wrong on everything, not to mention a flat out liar.

There are a few others who can be ignored as useless, but are not consistently vicious, like Kathleen Parker. They contribute nothing of real value, but while often wrong, are at least not junkyard dogs. It would be a vastly better publication without them, but we are apparently into a timeline where we have to pretend that stupidity has to be accepted for “balance”.


“The Washington Post is evolving and transforming to put our business in the best position for future growth,” The Post said in a statement.

Does that translate to, “We’re fucked and more lay off will follow?”


They’ve been dropping sections lately. (Outlook recently, Sunday magazine soon) so I wondered whether they were in trouble.


Sometimes these people want to make an announcement to as many people as possible at the same time and email is asynchronous.

But I bet plenty of people weren’t there and heard it second-hand and these days employees at an enterprise like a newspaper could probably be relied upon to see their emails fairly promptly. But no questions means it was not a “town hall format” it was just an in-person announcement. As you say, no interest in dialogue.

I do wonder if WaPo’s paywall is part of the problem. Contrast with The Guardian - no paywall, just as much revenue from subs and ‘contributions’, and operating at scale.

(I was sure I had seen a very recent article or email from the Editor, about how the ‘no paywall’ approach was serving them, but cannot find it now. The older article above will have to do.)


The Guardian’s structure is pretty unique, working within the framework of the Scott Trust. It’s given them some breathing room to find alternatives to the paywall and advertising business models. Maybe Bezos could set up something similar.


If only there were people trained to investigate and explicate relevant problems and issues this would not be a problem.


“All employee town hall” are 4 words you never want to see arranged together in that particular formation.


Honestly people went to the Post because it was one of the only ones to stand up to Trump and his bullshit. And Jeff Bezos HATES Donald Trump, and Donald Trump hates Jeff Bezos and the post, and as long as they could keep that little spat going subscribers were all in.

But now Donald’s not President, the front runners in the GOP are leaving him out to dry, nobody’s starting shit with Jeff Bezos anymore, and there’s not really any spats going on, and people are finding it harder and harder to justify subscription rate hikes.

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C’mon. How could you possibly predict that a room full of perturbed journalists might react to an official statement by asking questions? Nobody could have known!


Kinda disappointing that they’re only joining now that their jobs are in danger. That’s not how solidarity works.


Gives the impression that unions are only good for keeping people from getting fired. :man_shrugging:


Maybe he could. (Of course he could!)

It would be nice to think that the reason he has not is because he is unaware of such a model.

But not likely to be true. [Sigh]


Funny how a paper owned by Jeff Bezos just called out Elon Musk as the worst boss in the world and then does this quietly right after.