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‘Not All Fun and Memes’: BuzzFeed News Employees Plan to Form a Union

Last month, BuzzFeed laid off more than 220 employees, or 15 percent of its work force. On Tuesday, employees at the company’s news division responded with the announcement that they planned to form a union.“It’s not all fun and memes,” the organizing committee said in a statement. “Our staff has been organizing for several months, and we have legitimate grievances about unfair pay disparities, mismanaged pivots and layoffs, weak benefits, skyrocketing health insurance costs, diversity and more.”More than 40 of those who lost their jobs in the recent layoff worked in the company’s bureaus in New York, Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The cuts included all…

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Digital Media: What Went Wrong

Illustration by Andrew Sondern/The New York TimesThe digital publishing industry took a big hit in recent days, when more than 1,000 employees were laid off at BuzzFeed, AOL, Yahoo and HuffPost. Vice Media started the process of laying off some 250 workers on Friday, and Mic, a site aimed at younger readers, axed much of its staff two months ago before a competitor bought it in a fire sale. Coupled with recent layoffs at Gannett, the company behind USA Today and other dailies nationwide, the crisis in the digital sphere suggested that the journalism business was damned if it embraced innovation and damned if it didn’t.The cuts…

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It’s Not the Stuff of a Playful BuzzFeed Quiz

“Do You Still Have a Job at BuzzFeed?”For about 220 BuzzFeed employees, the answer to the question posed by that quiz, which was posted on the BuzzFeed site on Monday, is no.Managers started laying off the site’s staff members last Friday, when 43 journalists at the company’s news division were cut. By Wednesday, all of the employees who would be put out of work, totaling more than 15 percent of its staff, had learned their fates, with the exception of certain workers in Australia and Britain, a spokesman for the company said.The “Do You Still Have a Job” quiz was contributed by Jason Sweeten, who worked in…

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BuzzFeed’s First Round of Layoffs Puts an End to Its National News Desk

“This is going to be a tough week,” Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed News, wrote in an email to his staff on Wednesday. On Friday, the newsroom learned just how tough, when the company laid off 43 of the roughly 250 journalists who worked in that division, according to a BuzzFeed spokesman.The cut was the start of a planned 15 percent reduction of the overall work force at BuzzFeed, a company perhaps best known for producing content meant to be shared on social media. The layoffs, which the staff learned about from an email sent by the BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti, are expected to…

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internetting with amanda hess: The Hidden Language of Hands Videos

Advertisementinternetting with amanda hessIn the age of the selfie, we spend a lot of time showing off our faces. But lately a different body part is vying for attention. (Well: two.) What are our hands trying to tell us? Episode 3 of our video series.July 30, 2018In the age of the selfie, we spend a lot of time showing off our faces. But lately a different body part is vying for attention. What are our hands trying to tell us?Published OnJuly 30, 2018We’re living in what the French philosopher Michel Serres calls the “Thumbelina Generation”: Instead of talking with our mouths, we’re creating vast visual and textual…

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