This article appeared in the January 25, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Working without pay, working for greater trust

Richard Vogel/AP/File
The media company BuzzFeed said this week that it is cutting 15 percent of its jobs, or about 200 people, to trim costs and become profitable. It was among a handful of news organizations announcing cutbacks this week as the industry continues to look for a viable business model.
Clayton Collins
Director, editorial innovation

About 1,000 jobs suddenly gone.

Journalism just felt that sting, from across several outlets. But those weren’t the jobs people were talking about before today’s announcement that government would temporarily reopen.

Most journalists would agree: Federal workers toiling without pay deserved the attention this week. Systems were getting strained

The FBI did have agents up early today to arrest longtime Trump associate Roger Stone on charges including obstruction, even though that agency had seen paychecks stop. The White House said his arrest had nothing to do with the president. (Read this deep profile of Mr. Stone by the Monitor’s Warren Richey, from November.)

Journalists had been anticipating action related to the Mueller probe and preparing to do their job as relayers of real-time information. It’s when media’s function turns to analysis that it gets complicated. Speed doesn’t help. Plenty of people – not just journalists – felt singed by their own hot takes on those Covington, Ky., teens. (We sent a writer to Covington. Her story is below.)

So where does the media stand with the US public? It has often seemed as though the travails of journalists were as likely to be hailed as lamented. And the travails part picked up this week with those deep cuts. But the week also delivered this: Despite concerns, engagement with news has surged, according to an Edelman report. Other studies have noted that trust in media is creeping up, especially where transparency around operations exists. Where people are doing their jobs.

Now to our five stories for your Friday.

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This article appeared in the January 25, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 01/25 edition