After leaving my full-time reporting job at a Baltimore-area weekly in July 2019 to help my mom after a cancer diagnosis, I figured I could get by working as her aide and freelancing. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, locking me out of caring for her and cutting me out of freelance work as local publications took a hit.

A monthly magazine I wrote for cut its freelance budget when its ad revenue dropped and page counts went from 100 to 50. Its sister pub, a 100-year-old Baltimore weekly, is suffering a similar fate with its freelance budget and page counts.


“NEWS-SUB ONE! WHO ARE YOU — AND WHERE THE F*** ARE YOU?”

The terrifying voice roaring across the newsroom was directed at me, and there was nowhere to hide. The only advice I’d extracted from my surly veteran neighbor on my first copy-editing shift on a national newspaper was “cut from the end — and do it quickly”. The coalface grunts were numbers, not names, referred to only by computer log-ins, and nobody had bothered to define the word decimation for me. But that was why the irate editor was hunting me down — to give me a blistering (but…


Rep. David Cicilline, Chair • Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Ranking Member

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Thank you, Chairman Ciclline and Ranking Member Sensenbrenner, and full Committee Chair Jerry Nadler and Ranking Member Collins, for your critical leadership in launching this investigation into the monopolistic power of the tech giants and for convening this hearing on the crucial subject of the impact the tech giants have had on the journalism industry. And thank you for accepting our written testimony on the existential threat that the journalism industry faces from the tech giants’ monopolistic control of the online marketplace. This has impacted us…


Washington D.C. — Reporters Laura Bassett and John Stanton, both victims of recent layoffs from national news outlets, as well as tech entrepreneur Brian O’Kelley, explain in a new radio segment the urgent need to protect journalism from the grip of tech companies that are draining the life out of news sources nationwide to the detriment of the free press.

California newspapers are no exception to the growing list of outlets constrained by the tightening hold big tech companies have on digital ad revenue.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Journalists and internet privacy activists are speaking out in the wake of a recent hearing on big data and privacy in Washington, D.C., arguing that tech companies’ ad practices are hollowing out the news business and even threatening democracy.

They contended the problem is that companies like Google and Facebook use people’s personal data to control 60% of the digital advertising market. Brian O’Kelley, who invented the back-end system that supports digital ads, said big tech can out-compete news sites for ad dollars because they monetize users’ every move online.

“Google and Facebook specifically are really…


Reporters Laura Bassett & John Stanton, Tech Entrepreneur Brian O’Kelley Highlight Urgent Need to #SaveJournalism in the Digital Era

Reporters Laura Bassett and John Stanton, both victims of recent layoffs from national news outlets, as well as tech entrepreneur Brian O’Kelley, explain in a new radio segment the urgent need to protect journalism from the growing grip of tech companies that are draining the life out of news sources nationwide to the detriment of the free press.

The days of thriving newspapers and media outlets are withering away because tech companies like Google and Facebook, who together alone control 60%…


A movement is growing to try to save the news business by reining in the power of tech giants Google and Facebook, which together control 60% of digital advertising. Watchdog groups accuse the companies of profiting off the work of journalists while undercutting the ad revenue that pays their salaries.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on the subject of big data and privacy. Laura Bassett, a freelance journalist formerly with the Huffington Post, testified at that hearing. She said Google and Facebook should be broken up — or at least, heavily regulated.

“They’re basically a country…


Most local newspapers in America will die in the next five years, according to a prediction by New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet. Speaking at the International News Media Association World Congress, Baquet talked about the future of journalism and the market failure the industry finds itself.

The greatest crisis in American journalism is the death of local news . . . I don’t know what the answer is. Their economic model is gone. …


Recently Laid Off Journalists Laura Bassett and John Stanton Submit Statement At Senate Judiciary Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • May 21, 2019

Today at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, Understanding the Digital Advertising Ecosystem and the Impact of Data Privacy and Competition Policy, two recently laid off reporters submitted a statement for the record highlighting the need to reign in Big Tech monopolies, which pose an existential threat to the journalism industry.

The, statement for the record, which can be found in full here, was written by Laura Bassett, former Huffington Post Senior Politics reporter who was among the many…

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