Editor's column

1,000 journalists laid off this January


To the horror of every working journalist, last week Buzzfeed laid off it’s entire national news desk and most of its national security team. Conde Nast made cuts at GQ. Huffpost let go of reporters. While the decline of print is nothing new – neither the fall of local newspapers who struggle to monetise their content in an increasingly digital world – we’re not used to seeing the big boys, the Buzzfeeds and Huffposts, trembling in fear. We’re not used to 1,000 people in media losing their jobs in January.

My Twitter feed is full of journalists posting their portfolios in search of work. These are ‘proper’ journalists, award-winning ones, who’ve been let go in one of the biggest dumplings of media staff in recent memory. All in the name of Google and Facebook’s duopoly.

It’s easy for me to say, but the leaders of these publications must do better. Google and Facebook are no new challenge. Their dominance comes as no surprise. If publications have neglected to diversify their income outside of digital advertising profits, which they claim the duopoly has stolen from them, they’ve done a disservice to their staff. Business isn’t for the fainthearted and cuts have to happen – but Buzzfeed cutting fifteen percent of their staff is not simply finance management it’s the end of news as we know it.

We must all do better – buy your local paper, pick up a print copy of a magazine, subscribe to publications online. This won’t help all of the jobs cuts. Some of them are simply selfish people at the top being mean to those below them, playground bullying. Though if it can help anyone, it’s worth it.

… and onto this issue.

Our front page is also a cry for leaders to do better, as medication shortages have reached a terrifying level. Our Online Editor Beth Bacon had dabbled in print this issue with her first front page story, ‘Students wait months for prescriptions due to shortages.’ While national shortages have been reported, we took a look at how it’s affected students at UEA. From nut allergies to ADHD medication, the number of unavailable medications has eighty. It’s utterly unacceptable.

Check out comment for our writers discussion of the SU’s dog walking initiative that sold out within an hour in its first week and 24 hours in the second. Let us know if you went to it @Concrete_UEA and send us all your dog photos! I won’t pretend, I don’t like dogs, but it’s a good moral boost for the team as we power on to Summer.

Keep an eye out for our Sex Survey coming out next issue. It’ll be full of all your scandalous secrets. If you haven’t done it yet take a look on our socials to find it. We hope you like fruit and vegetables as much as our branding does..!

In the wake of job losses, community amongst journalists is more important than ever, and this week I’m even more proud of Concrete and our writers. I hope you all enjoy the issue.



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