Hot Off The Press “-30-: The End of the News” – Inaugural Issue: The Chicago Defenderby Save Journalism Project September 20, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – The Save Journalism Project today launched “-30-: The End of the News” a weekly spotlight on journalists who changed communities, bettered our towns, and held elected leaders accountable through their stories only to then be faced with lay-offs, buy-outs, and closures resulting from big tech siphoning off all the advertising revenue. For the inaugural issue: The Chicago Defender.
After 114 years of distribution, The Chicago Defender printed its last edition this past July, marking the end of a historic and influential run. The Defender coverage of the Great Migration, the Jim Crow era, World War II, and President Kennedy’s election was critical for education of not only Chicagoans, but Americans across the nation. With Big Tech’s death grip on the press, The Chicago Defender is just one of many American publications going strictly digital, ironically falling directly into the lion’s den.
According to John Stanton, former DC bureau chief for BuzzFeed – who was laid off in January – and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “With Google and Facebook already dominating the digital ad market and swallowing up 90% of all new spending on digital ads – an income stream which publishers now desperately depend on – the business model of the journalism industry is under serious threat. Google, Facebook, and Apple set the rules and decide the winners-and-losers, forcing publications either out of business or into their controlled domain: digital. With a number of state and federal antitrust investigations now examining these companies, we need investigators to remain focused on journalism: the crux of our democracy.”
Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.