Saving the News Media Means Moving Beyond the Benevolence of Billionaires

"For the journalism industry, 2024 is off to a brutal start," writes the Poynter Institute in a blistering analysis of the latest round of layoffs at the Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper's billionaire owner, Patrick Soon-Shiong, announced last week that he was slashing 20% of the newsroom's staff, a move that came after years of declining print advertising.

"Many employees and readers hoped the Times' billionaire owner, Patrick Soon-Shiong, would stay the course in good times and badthat he would be a steward less interested in turning a profit and more concerned with ensuring the storied publication could serve the public," writes Poynter's Jack Shafer.

"Yet, as we've previously argued, relying on the benevolence of billionaire owners isn't a viable long-term solution to journalism's crises," writes Shafer.

"In what we call the 'oligarchy media model,' it often creates distinct hazards for democracy," he writes.

"The recent layoffs simply reinforce these concerns."

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