BuzzFeed reduces its journalist numbers | radioinfo

BuzzFeed reduces its journalist numbers

Tuesday 05 February, 2019

BuzzFeed will reduce its number of journalists by around 250 worldwide, and about a dozen in Australia, as the digital publisher struggles with revenue.
In what could be a tightening of the digital publishing business strategies, Verizon will also trim around 800 positions from its media unit including HuffPost.
While companies like BuzzFeed were established on the expectation of fast growth in advertising sales, what they have found is that Facebook and Google have cornered most of the digital advertising market leaving the rest to struggle.
Establishing a paywall now, or even asking for online contributions like the Guardian, may come too late and could prove futile. Diversifying into other fields is seen as one alternative with some online publishers looking at both video and audio podcasting.
The Guardian Australia showed a profit for the first time last year largely built on the public contributions it gets by appealing to its readers to support journalism in story footnotes.
The MEAA says, “These cuts at a digital disrupter like BuzzFeed – with a seemingly successful, diversified business model, a global audience reach in the hundreds of millions, innovative content strategies and a thriving focus on public interest journalism – highlight the crisis facing journalism around the world and the ongoing risks to public interest reporting if even those media players successfully engaging large and younger audiences feel they can no longer afford sizeable workforces or dedicated newsrooms.”
BuzzFeed Australia has an enviable reputation, with four Walkley nominations for excellence in journalism.

The cut backs signal that it is still difficult to find successful scalable business models in new media publishing, despite large online audiences.

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