Any time a job is lost, it’s unfortunate. Every time a media job is lost, it stings particularly hard as it’s the industry in which we engage here at NOQ Report. But there’s a certain sense of irony we have to acknowledge when a large, left-leaning media outlet cuts staff that has unionized as we’re against both left-leaning news outlets and unions. Therefore, I’ll tread carefully regarding the story of VICE News’ recent layoffs.
I’ll also only make one mention of the joke that they should have learned to code. This irony cannot be lost on those in media who are now learning that in a world dominated by Big Tech, very few seem to be immune, particularly with the coronavirus scaring many into a standstill.
Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc attacked the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe in a memo to all employees sent as the company lays off 155 staffers. Dubuc’s memo says that Big Tech’s “squeeze” is becoming a “Chokehold” on the new business, as platforms are “not just taking a larger slice of the pie, but almost the whole pie.”
As Vice Media slashes its newsroom staff, its chief executive officer is blaming Silicon Valley giants for destroying journalism, saying that big tech firms are strangling the news profession.
“The squeeze is becoming a chokehold. Platforms are not just taking a larger slice of the pie, but almost the whole pie,” Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc wrote in a blistering memo obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
Vice Media said Friday that it is laying off 55 staffers in the U.S., plus about 100 staffers overseas in the coming weeks. The layoffs are part of a larger bloodbath to overtake the news industry in the wake of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
VICE Union, the organization representing employees of the media giant, issued a statement yesterday claiming upper management did not do what was necessary to avoid these layoffs. They are going after VICE News CEO Nancy Dubuc for only claiming to do everything she could to avoid the layoffs.
Our statement regarding today's layoffs: pic.twitter.com/CCQlKDRXAX
— VICE Union (@viceunion) May 15, 2020
There’s a false sense of security that unions often instill in their members. The idea that unions can protect their members from the ravages against an industry is incorrect, demonstrated time and again through layoffs and even companies completely disbanding as a result of the actions powerful unions take in their efforts to “stick it to the man.”
Unions at news outlets often pretend like they offer the defense that journalists need in order to navigate leftist mainstream media’s many pitfalls, but as VICE News employees are learning, that defense falls short sometimes.
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