Friday, 14 February 2020

STAGNANT WAGES, RISING COSTS LEAVE LESS DISPOSABLE INCOME TO SUPPORT SERVICES INDUSTRIES

I was sceptical about various futurists' predictions that the services economy would increasingly become prevalent over the industrial economy, especially in the west, since as far back as 1979 when I first heard about it from a fellow university student.


As it has turned out of course, over the intervening years this has been the case especially in the advanced industrial countries of the west, as well as some of the developed countries and regions in the east, such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, and it's also so in advanced, resource and agriculturally-rich countries such as Australia and New Zealand, booth of which never had any major domestic manufacturing industries to speak of anyway, besides domestically-based, foreign-owned  automotive, home appliance and other assembly plants, plus some domestic plants producing chemicals and parts such as pipes and materials used by the agricultural, resource extraction and construction industries. 

As for the past trend where major employment had shifted from the agricultural (farming) to the manufacturing sector due to the growth of large farms where mechanised farming methods had replaced the need for a large number of human workers, as well as the preference amongst agricultural workers for industrial jobs - were much cited by these futurists as the basis of their predictions that a similar trend was taking place from manufacturing to information and services jobs, especially in the advanced countries of the west; however what these futurists did not mention is that this trend observed especially in North America and Western Europe especially after World War II, was largely due to  manufacturers in the west moving their more labour intensive manufacturing operations out to lower wage countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and after the end of the Cold War, to China and Vietnam, all of which were recipients of these "sunset industries" which were being moved out of the west to take advantage of cheap labour in these Asian countries.

Where these "sunset industries" moved to, there was an economic sunrise, as people who worked, even in sweatshops earned a higher income and more spending power, which in turn fueled their respective domestic economies, and some of these countries, notably Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and today China learned the technologies which came in along with the industries and developed their own home grown technologies to the extent that they became developed, advanced economies themselves which competed with the west and likewise, labour and cost of land rentals became expensive, sometimes even more expensive than in the west, and they too began to shift their labour-intensive operations ("sunset industries") to neighbouring lower wage countries, thus adding to their economic "sunrise".

Whilst countries like Malaysia and Singapore did not develop their domestic manufacturing industries to the extent that they could compete head on with the advanced countries in the west and in Asia, however wages and standards of living, as well as costs did rise to the extent that especially multinational companies also began to move their labour-intensive manufacturing facilities, such as of computer hard disks, semiconductors, cigarettes, fast-moving consumer goods and so forth out to neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, China, Vietnam and so forth where labour is still relatively cheap and costs lower.

It was this concern, that prompted Malaysia to embark on developing its own information and communications technology industries, especially in multimedia and content creation, as well as the hosting in Cyberjaya of outsourced and shared services, such as centralised internal administrative functions such as order processing, invoicing, payments, accounting, human resource management and so forth serving either nationally-based subsidiaries of the whole enterprise worldwide or its subsidiaries across countries of a region such as the Asia Pacific. Some examples of these include HSBC and Standard Chartered, as well as Jabil's Global Business Center at Mayang Mall in Penang and others. Also, Malaysia sought to attract multinationals to base their regional or global customer service centre, or global managed services centres in Cyberjaya or other parts of Malaysia. Besides that, major call centres also set up operations in Malaysia.

For example:-

Global Business Center (GBC) affirms Jabil's commitment to Penang


Penang, Malaysia – October 25, 2018 - Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) today officially opened its Global Business Center (GBC) in Penang's GBS@Mayang, after relocating from Bayan Lepas Industrial Park earlier this year. The center marks a milestone for Jabil's growth, which has continued to expand operations in Penang since 1995.

The Jabil GBC started with just 200 employees and has since made a home in Penang employing approximately 950 professionals. Today, Jabil's GBC – combining the company's global information technology, supply chain management, centralized procurement, and finance global business solutions functions - supports over 180,000 Jabil employees around the world. It is one of the largest shared services centers in Penang. Jabil will occupy two floors measuring 72,700+ square feet, with the capacity to accommodate an additional 1,100 people as needed.

Gary Cantrell, Jabil's senior vice president and CIO, said, "We are proud of Jabil's journey in Penang. This new space brings our shared services team under one roof, while fostering better employee interaction, collaboration, and innovation. We continue to invest in technology to drive solutions for our internal and external customers. Furthermore, our new office will provide better infrastructure and accessibility with its centralized location within the Bayan Baru district."

Shared services will be driven by new technologies such as predictive analytics and big data to enable faster and more accurate decision support. And, Penang's highly skilled workforce and conducive ecosystem will allow Jabil to scale over time.

Cantrell was on-hand to formally open the GBC at GBS@Mayang, in the presence of Yang Berhormat Zairil Khir Johari, Penang State Executive Councillor for Public Works, Utilities & Flood Mitigation, representatives from the Penang Development Corporation and investPenang, as well as additional executives from Jabil.

YB Zairil said, "Jabil's move to GBS@Mayang is an acknowledgment of Penang's capabilities in providing first-class infrastructure, skilled manpower, and value-added services. It also reaffirms their continued commitment to Penang. We are pleased to be a part of Jabil's growth journey."


The Florida-headquartered Jabil provides design, engineering manufacturing and supply chain solutions for a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, defense, healthcare, telecommunications, computing and others and most of its facilities in Penang are involved in the design and production of circuits and solutions for these industries. The company had recently expended its operations into a plant on 20 acres in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park in mainland Penang, so R&D and production is still Jabil's main business in Penang.

Also, large computer-based graphic design and video post production have set up shop in Malaysia to take advantage of lower skilled labour costs than for similar skilled work in the west, and some of these offshore production centres, including U.S. owned ones, have contributed major parts of big-name Hollywood films which have graced our cinemas in recent years.

Many of the above operations are pretty labour-intensive and are said to "provide mass employment in the information age". However, the question remains as to whether they can provide enough mass employment to replace the jobs lost from the assembly and manufacturing plants which have and are moving out of Malaysia.

As I had written in my earlier posts, most of the production floor workers in the National Semiconductor integrated circuit assembly plant in the Senawang Industrial Park where I got my first job back in 1980, had an SPM (Malaysian Certificate of Education, Form 5) qualification or lower such as SRP (Lower Certificate of Education), whilst most line supervisors has an STPM (Higher Certificate of Education, Form 6) qualification.

When I watched the presentation about Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) initiative by Multimedia Development Corporation's (MDeC's) first Chief Executive Officer, the late Tan Sri  Dr. Othman Yeop Abdullah at a Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC) Annual General Meeting back in the 1990s, where he spoke about how the information and services jobs created by the MSC Malaysia initiative would replace those industrial jobs lost, I wondered whether most my former colleagues in that National Semiconductor plant would be able to upgrade their skills to participate in Malaysia's digital economy.

Perhaps my fears were mostly unfounded, since almost all the production floor workers were young women in their late teens and early 20s in 1980, who by the time of Tan Sri Othman's presentation would be approaching their 40s and would mostly be married with children by then and would most likely have left long their production plant jobs but then could their younger replacements upgrade their skills to work in Malaysia's digital economy. Tan Sri Othman did not have an answer to my question.

Meanwhile, that National Semiconductor plant in Senawang closed down around the time of the economic downturn in the late 1980s. By then, I had long moved on and was happily working as a computer service engineer.

Also, MDeC has since been renamed the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation.

However, more recently, Western Digital closed and sold off its hard disk production factory in Petaling Jaya at the end of 2019, whilst its service centre is now in Singapore.

"After over 20 years in operation, Western Digital Corporation announced that it will be shutting down its HDD (hard disk drive) manufacturing facility in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, by the end of 2019."

Also, Seagate closed down and sold off its hard disk production plants in Penang and in Negeri Sembilan in early 2017 and moved some of its operations to Thailand. However Seagate has maintained its plant in Senai, Johor.

"US-based disk storage solutions firm Seagate Technology Plc, which is in the process of shutting down its manufacturing facilities on Penang Island and in Negeri Sembilan, is hoping to dispose of them for a total of RM130 million."

"The closure of the plants is in line with Seagate's global restructuring strategy, which includes relocating some of its Malaysian operations to Korat, Thailand. It was previously reported that Seagate was winding up its operations in Penang and Negeri Sembilan owing to weak demand."


"However, Seagate will continue to operate its facility in Senai, Johor."



Also, recent reports have said that several remaining semiconductor production plants in Penang have downsized and have laid off some of their workers.

When I visited Intel's research and development plant in Penang in 2013, I learned that whilst it was increasing its research and development operations in Penang, however it was gradually moving its production and test operations out of Malaysia.

On 22 April 2016, The Star reported that Intel had already moved its manufacturing operations of "mature products for the desktop PC market" to its facilities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Chengdu in China.

Intel's design and development facilities employ mostly engineers and scientists with degrees in electronics, electrical and chemistry, whilst manufacturing and assembly plants mostly employ people with more intermediate skill levels such as SPM, STPM, certificate or diploma and whilst in an ideal world, everyone can even qualify with a PhD but in reality people's academic abilities tend to be concentrated mostly around intermediate levels, so it's unrealistic to imagine that everyone can obtain a science or engineering degree to be able to work in these higher skilled jobs. 

Besides that, an oversupply of university graduates is evident in about 50% of university graduates being unemployed, according to the Ministry of Higher Education, and amongst them, 60% of ICT graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

Well now we read of and hear reports of a number of engineering graduates with honours degrees having to find work delivering food for services such as Foodpanda or Grab Food, driving e-hailing taxis such as Grab, working as home and office cleaners, opening small businesses selling drinks and so forth just to make a living.

I suppose the nett loss of productive facilities which provide mass employment are amongst some of the reasons why the Penang and Selangor state governments have allowed rampant property development projects, despite there already being an excess of available properties in the market, whilst the government has lowered the minimum property price for foreign buyers down to RM600,000 per property. Perhaps, state governments and local authorities hope to collect quit rent and assessment from the owners of these properties.

I suppose school levers and unemployed graduates can find work as real estate agents, though since their income is mostly based upon commissions from property sales made, if they can't sell a property, they get no income.

Perhaps more Malaysians will become. sales promoters, unit trust consultants, insurance agents, telemarketers and so forth and we can earn an income selling unit trusts, insurance policies and so forth to each other.

And let's not forget the oldest services industry - i.e. prostitution. The government should consider legalising, regulating prostitution and health-certifying prostitutes as Malaysia increasingly becomes and information and services economy. ;)

This way, Malaysians can continue to afford to by a whole lot of consumer goods, such as smartphones produced by productive industries in neighbouring countries to which these "sunset industries" have moved.

Meanwhile, an article by Helen Buyniski in Russia Today of 13 February 2020 points out that the success of services industries, such as those in the U.S. mostly depend upon the disposal income of citizens to be able to purchase these various services and wages in the U.S. have been stagnant in the past 50 years, whilst cost of living has been increasing and an increasing number of  employment in the U.S. is in gog economy jobs and when 78% of American workers are living from paycheque to paycheque, they do not have the disposable income to make purchases, which support services industries, which will eventually collapse.

I have listed some key excerpts from Helen's article below:_      

"a 2019 survey found 78 percent of American workers were living paycheck-to-paycheck , and similar scary figures have graced financial headlines for years."

"It's common knowledge that as cost of living has increased in the last half-century, American wages have stagnated. But the reality is actually getting worse - since 2006, median wages have actually declined 9 percent when adjusted for inflation, according to the PayScale Index ."

"While Trump may praise the country's swelling employment numbers to the sky, many of those are gig-economy positions that offer no benefits or real job security and don't come close to replacing the long-term career-oriented jobs wiped out in the financial crash of 2008."

Well, Malaysia is heading towards that dystopian future too, whatever Tun Dr. Mahathir, Lim Guan Eng or Azmin Ali may say.

The full Russia Today article follows below:_ 

Almost a THIRD of US workers can't live on their paychecks, spelling doom for a service economy based on discretionary spending

Helen Buyniski - is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

 Almost one in three American workers can't quite make ends meet in between paydays, a new survey has revealed. This doesn't bode well for the US' service economy, where discretionary spending is the major driver of growth.

Some 32 percent of US workers are unable to stretch their salaries to cover their needs, according to a survey published on Tuesday by Salary Finance. Nor is this inability to make one's paycheck last limited to poor and working-class individuals - the poll queried over 2,700 adults working for medium- to large-sized companies about their finances and found that even among those making over $200,000 annually, 32 percent "always" or "most of the time" ran out of cash before payday.

Certainly, the insufficient-funds problem is more severe for those making under $15,000 per year - fully 40 percent, or two in five, are unable to make ends meet on that salary. But no matter how high up the pay scale one goes, the problem stubbornly refuses to vanish.

When "living paycheck to paycheck" - once the hallmark of the stressed-out working poor - becomes an aspirational goal, it's clear the US economy is in trouble. But this isn't a bolt out of the blue: a 2019 survey found 78 percent of American workers were living paycheck-to-paycheck , and similar scary figures have graced financial headlines for years.

How, then, might Americans square the slow collapse into poverty they see in themselves and their neighbors with the vision of golden prosperity laid out by President Donald Trump at the State of the Union earlier this month, bolstered by facts and figures that surely no one could refute? It's common knowledge that as cost of living has increased in the last half-century, American wages have stagnated. But the reality is actually getting worse - since 2006, median wages have actually declined 9 percent when adjusted for inflation, according to the PayScale Index . While Trump may praise the country's swelling employment numbers to the sky, many of those are gig-economy positions that offer no benefits or real job security and don't come close to replacing the long-term career-oriented jobs wiped out in the financial crash of 2008.

Also on rt.com That's a bit rich: Biden says paycheck doesn't matter, jobs are 'about dignity'

At the same time as workers make hardly more (or even less) than they did 40 years ago, average consumer prices keep on creeping up, increasing 2.3 percent in the last year alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Healthcare costs increased by more than twice that rate. But Americans keep consuming at the same rate they have all their lives, accustomed to a certain standard of living. Shopping is second-nature to those raised in the service economy of the post-NAFTA years, taught to express themselves in their purchases. It is this cultivated need to consume as a core function of their humanity that has kept that economy alive, fed on discretionary dollars. This is not irresponsible or frivolous spending, either - a nation of perpetual customers who can be counted on to spend their surplus income on products they don't necessarily need but have been told they want and deserve has been absolutely critical to keeping the economic engines running.

And when those customers run out of surplus income? They're already out, for one thing - nearly half (48 percent) of respondents to the Salary Finance survey admitted they don't have any money set aside, even for emergencies. Consumer credit card debt hit a record $930 billion earlier this week, dwarfing the numbers seen during the 2008 crisis. Even before taking into account student debt - a crisis in itself - and mortgage debt approaching 2008 levels, the American consumer, once liberated by the ability to buy anything they wanted, is now weighed down by the hangover from a decade-long shopping spree.

This is uncharted territory. The only certainty is that business as usual - debt bubbles swollen beyond absurdity while the supposed adults in the room are literally swimming in too much money to care - can't last forever.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!


No. This can't last forever and when there is such a huge property overhang, I suppose real estate agents can sell these properties to ghosts who will pay for them with Hell Money.

A couple or so years back, someone bought three dilapidated bungalows down the road from where I live, I understand for RM1 million each. They were torn down and rebuilt into three identical, modernist looking bungalows complete with a swimming pool in the front yard each and I understand their new owner is asking for over RM2 million each.

Well, they still stand unsold, with real estate agents' posters on the front gate until today.

A predominance of speculative (such as real estate), services and information industries over productive, real wealth-generating industries is a sign of an economy in decline.

Despite whatever rubbish various paperback writers, economic, business and management CON-sultants have told us, reality testifies that the economic sun sets where "sunset industries" move out from, leaving behind "sunrise industries", whilst the economic sun rises where "sunset industries" move to, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, China and so forth.

Meanwhile, Star Media Group should be releasing its fourth financial quarterly report 2019 (Q4 2019) sometime in the last week of February 2020. It will be interesting to see if it manages to buck the series of consecutive quarterly declines in quarterly revenue and nett profit, or will it manage to make a turnaround.

Like many other media companies worldwide, Star Media Group has been adversely impacted by a commonly observed trend where despite having an online and digital platform presence in addition to its print edition, however print advertising revenue has been observed to provide the bulk of a publication's advertising revenue but at the same time has been dropping between 8 and 10 times as online and digital advertising revenue has been increasing and moreover, for most publications worldwide, online and digital advertising revenue comprises around 10% of total advertising revenue.

Once a publication goes online and/or digital, it faces competition for advertising from the likes of Google and Facbook, as can be seen in the chart below and both Google and Facebook can customise advertisements relevant to the country the viewer is in to appear based upon their IP (Internet Protocol) address detected and moreover most Internet users, including myself are annoyed by such advertisements popping up and obstructing our reading or viewing experience and many of us install ad-blockers to try and block them or just close them and get on with our reading or watching.   


As for online or digital only publications, including the many alternative publications in Malaysia, for most of them, their advertising revenue is not enough to sustain their continued operations and many are propped up by un-named financiers behind the scenes - i.e. sugar daddies who keep them afloat for personal reasons or to serve their respective political agendas, whilst others struggle to survive through paid editorial deals.   

Given the above media scenario, I would never advise a young school leaver to embark on a career in journalism in the hope that it will remain a viable paying career, since they could be out of work in their mid forties when they are lumbered with the burdens of a wife and of having to pay for their children's schooling, of having to pay off their car and housing loans.

Instead, aspiring writers will require a main source of income from another job, profession or business, whilst they write for free in their free time.

With few exceptions, this is the future of journalism as I see it. Thankfully, I'm an old fart enjoying my semi-retirement.

In his book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Joseph Schumpeter spoke about Creative Destruction, in which he proposed that companies need to "reinvent themselves" or upgrade their operations and workflows with new technologies, but in the case of media, the creative has proven to have been unable to make up for the destruction.

I started this blog IT.Scheiss in March 2012 to refute the nonsense about online and digital platforms being "The future of journalism" by opportunistic, self-styled, new media CON-sultants. Besides such refutations, I have also expanded IT.Scheiss to refute other nonsense peddled by Internet idealists, tech-marketers, opportunistic futuristics, authors and seminar speakers who earn fees from attendees who pay to listen to their "gems of wisdom".

Welcome to the information and services economy and the dystopian future for most which lies ahead.

Yours most truly

IT.SCHEISS

Friday, 7 February 2020

SO BERNIE SANDERS COMES TOPS IN IOWA

So finally Bernie Sanders comes out tops in the Iowa Caucus after technical issues with a smartphone app.

Meanwhile, allegations of electoral rigging fly.

Final Iowa Numbers Give Bernie VICTORY

As the final numbers from the Iowa Caucus come in, we see that Bernie Sanders has improved the most from them. Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comments below. 

Take our poll: https://tyt.com/iowa

Read more here: 

"The chairman of the Democratic National Committee called on Thursday for a "recanvass" of the results of Monday's Iowa caucus, which was marred by technical problems and delays.

"Enough is enough," party leader Tom Perez wrote on Twitter. He said he was calling for the recanvass in order to "assure public confidence in the results."

With 97% of precincts reporting, Pete Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are nearly tied.

The technical glitches plaguing the first contest on the 2020 nominating calendar have made an already complicated candidate selection process even more complicated, forcing state officials to apologize and raising questions about Iowa's traditional prime spot in picking nominees."


Hosts: Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola

Cast: Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola 

Next, someone may develop a smartphone app which will wipe ones bum, thus saving on toilet paper and saving trees.

Yours truly

IT.Scheiss

Thursday, 6 February 2020

WHY DO YOU NEED AN APP TO COUNT A CAUCUS VOTE - GEORGE GALLOWAY

I really love what George Galloway said - "Why do you need an app to count a caucus vote?" and "It's like the script of a sitcom"

Now Europeans find that - "The Democrat Party is no fit to run a bordelo or a drunken party at a brewery".

(I guess that's also true about the Pakatan Harapan's ability to effectively run a country - i.e. Malaysia.) 

Basically, this smartphone app has seriously set back the Democrats' chances of winning the presidency in November 2020.

The winner in Iowa is President Trump – George Galloway


Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders supporter Jenn Dize of Status Coup describes the problems with this app in greater detail.

SMELLS ROTTEN: Failed #IowaCaucus App Has Pete Buttigieg/Hillary Clinton Connection


Ah! but never mind, there will be more MSC Malaysia status companies receiving startup funds to develop apps and propel Malaysia towards becoming a "high-income", "knowledge-based", "information-rich" economy by 2020 (oops! postponed to 2030), and ministers talking crap read from scripts prepared for them by their press secretaries or public relations consultants about the "wonders" of an app launched by a startup company the launch of whose app they are officiating at, after which hordes of journalists covering the event will breathlessly file their stories extolling the app, perhaps along with accounts of how fragrant the ministers' farts smell. 

Meanwhile, Russia Today reports:-

"The US Senate has voted to acquit President Donald Trump of impeachment charges brought by the House Democrats, ending the attempt to oust him from the White House ahead of the November 2020 elections."

Another blow to the Democrats.

Yours truly
 
IT.Scheiss

STATUS COUP REPORTS ON ALLEGED MONKEY BUSINESS BEHIND DEMOCRAT'S IOWA VOTE


#BREAKING: Iowa Dems PULL #IowaCaucus Results After Giving BERNIE SANDERS Votes to Steyer & Patrick
Yours truly
 
IT.Scheiss

ADDENDUM TO SMARTPHONE APP MESS IN IOWA

And, may I add - Caleb Maupin's recent video on the smartphone mess in Iowa.

Chaos and Division among Democrats after Iowa Caucuses


Shortly before the caucus, Caleb posted:-

Washington establishment, FBI & DNC working against Bernie Sanders

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Pgolijkfo

Yours truly
 

MESS IN THE DEMOCRATS' IOWA DELEGATES CAUCUS VOTE COUNTING THANKS TO A SMARTPHONE APP

Whilst I'm not a fan of the pro-Trump and libertarian politics of "Styxhexenhammer666" a.k.a. "Tarl Warwick" (though I'm not sure if that's his real name or a pen name), however he showed himself to have had his finger on the pulse of ordinary Americans in the street and was pretty accurate in his analyses of why Trump would win the 2016 presidential elections, which Trump did.

In this video below, Styx speaks about the political mess at the Democrat party delegates' Iowa caucus, where due to a DESIGN FAULT IN A SMARTPHONE APP, the full count of which Democrat presidential contenders won the Iowa caucus elections and go on to contest in other caucuses until the one Democrat candidate is chosen to run for president against the Republican candidate and other lesser party candidates.

This is a fine example of IT Scheiss.

Iowa Fallout: Buttigieg Apparently Wins, Sanders Schlonged, DNC Chaos, Insanity

Here, Styx celebrates the accuracy of his predictions that Trump would win after Trump won back to November 2016.
 
I Win Everything, All the Pundits Were Wrong

I followed Styx's marathon (5 hours and 48 minutes) live stream of the 2016 presidential election results as they came in and fell asleep part way.

Election Results and Analysis Live Stream

And this is before is marathon live stream analysis.

Final Pre-Livestream Analysis (Turnout, Polls, etc) GO VOTE!!!

And this goes back to July 2016

Ghosts of Elections Past: Why I Believe Trump is Very Likely to Win in November

Besides making You Tube videos, Styx who was based in the north eastern state of Vermont back then, also writes books on the occult as Tarl Warwick.

Right now, he has moved to Netherlands to be with his Dutch wife.

Back to the present, Pete Buttigieg (pronounced "Booter Judge" NOT "Booti-gee-ia-a-a-a-a-g") is slightly ahead of Bernie Sanders in the partial results of the Iowa caucus delegates votes counted (about 69% so far, I understand).

However, the Iowa caucus is just the first one. There will be others and Styx expects that Sanders will win the New Hampshire caucus, unless there is some manipulation of vote count or if this wonderful smartphone app is tweaked accordingly so that Sanders loses.

Styx mentioned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) as a "replacement" but at 30 years of age, AOC is too young to be eligible to run for U.S. president, since the rules require that a presidential candidate must be at least 35 years old. So unless the U.S. has changed that rule, AOC cannot run in the 2020 presidential elections. 

Besides Styx, here are some other opinions on the Iowa fiasco.

Iowa caucuses fiasco is a 'spectacular' first step for Democrats to get Trump re-elected

Here, Lee Camp, a leftist criticises the Democrats and the app.

BREAKING: Iowa Fix Is In – Proof of Manufactured Chaos (Web Exclusive)

The Aftermath Of The Iowa Caucus Disaster Featuring Eoin Higgins from Common Dreams

DNC Vote Count DISASTER After Iowa Caucuses

Meanwhile, British politician George Galloway asks:-

Is Social Media being Censored? | Kalima Horra on Al Mayadeen TV

All this mess due to a smartphone app, which not only makes the Democrat party a laughing stock worldwide but also has Donald Trump gloating at the Democrats running around like headless chickens. 

The Democrats should have learned from the mess in the Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR's) party election in latter half of 2018 due to the PKR's insistence on e-voting using a smartphone app and strongly suspected attempts at sabotage of the e-voting by rival factions within the PKR but then again, some Democrats may think that Malaysia is a county within the United States of America and many probably have never heard of PKR.

Below in chronological order are my IT.Scheiss postings on the PKR's e-voting fiasco between September and November 2018.  

e-VOTING SYSTEM SCREW UP RESULTS IN FIGHT BETWEEN PKR MEMBERS

SENIOR CITIZEN MEMBERS HAVE PROBLEMS USING e-VOTING SYSTEM IN PKR'S FEDERAL TERRITORY PARTY ELECTIONS

HEE, HEE, HEE, HEE ! - I SAID THERE WOULD BE ISSUES RAISED OVER PKR's GEE WHIZ e-VOTING SYSTEM, DIDN'T I ?

MORE TROUBLE LOOMS FOR PKR THANKS TO ITS INSISTENCE ON e-VOTING

MORE ON PKR's e-VOTING FIASCO

NEVER MIND THE ALLEGATIONS - IT WAS JUST AN e-SCREWUP

EXPLOSIVE FINDING! - 4G & WIFI JAMMER FOUND AT PKR KUALA SELANGOR ELECTION SITE

SECOND CLEAR CASE OF SABOTAGE OF PKR'S e-VOTING SYSTEM - WHY & WHO ?

SO HOW NOW - WITH CLAIMS OF 8,926 VOTES IN PKR ELECTIONS ARE MISSING?

Such infatuation with smartphone apps but I suppose in this "information and services economy", smartphone developers need projects to work on, instead of driving e-hailing taxis, riding e-hailing motorcycles or working gig jobs delivering food to customers at their homes or offices, not only in Malaysia but worldwide as well


Yours Truly

IT.Scheiss

Thursday, 12 December 2019

RETRENCHED JOURNALISTS FIND IT TOUGH TO SURVIVE DOING GIG WORK

Further to my post yesterday, this Free Malaysia Today article cites retrenched journalists who reveal that gig work such as driving e-hailing taxis and work as independent contractors selling stuff to each other on the streets is no fun, unlike what the proponents, including conference and seminar speakers as well as business and management CON-sultants of the "new world of work in the information and services economy" touted, including with the help of journo-prostitutes in the information technology and business media.

I started this blog - IT Scheiss (IT Shit) http://itsheiss.blogspot.com/ in March 2011 to provide the other side of the story about the ongoing trend whereby whilst media readership has been increasingly moving from print media to online and digital media, however online and digital media can command very much lower advertising rates that print media could and the experience of newspapers in the U.S. show, that for every US$ 8 to US$10 drop in print advertising revenue, there is a US$1 increase in online and digital advertising revenue and moreover a media publication's online and digital platforms earn far less advertising revenue that their print platform, so advertising revenue from their online and digital platforms cannot make up for the decline in advertising revenue from their print platform, which in the long term is unsustainable for media organisations and for the future of journalism as a viable, paying career upon which media workers can rely upon for a living.

Those self-styled New Media CON-sultants back around 2011 and 2012, some of whom were IT journalists, touted the fact that media readership was moving from print to online and digital in their articles - which is one side of the coin, so to speak, but they suppressed the other side about online and digital advertising revenue and the decline in print advertising revenue as this is what I set out to highlight in my blog IT Scheiss, and seven years later, we can see the harsh reality unfolding before our eyes.

This is not just a problem affecting Malaysian media such as Utusan Malaysia or Malaysian media  companies such as Media Prima, Berjaya Media, Star Media Group but it's a problem which has affected media in the developed world several years before it hit Malaysia.

I highlighted that in greater detail my blog post yesterday:-

600 MEDIA WORKERS TO LOSE JOBS BY FRIDAY (13 DECEMBER 2019), THOUSANDS MORE BY Q1 2020
http://itsheiss.blogspot.com/2019/12/600-media-workers-to-lose-jobs-by.html

In the future, journalism will be a pastime or hobby where people with another source of income, such as a daytime job or a business write, blog post videos of their opinions and analyses in their spare time for free.

Or, media organisations which survive will have to be sponsored by governments, wealthy businessmen or tycoons wanting to promote an agenda, political parties wanting to promote their political message, non-governmental organisations wanting to promote their respective political agendas, foreign governments or foreign government backed non-governmental organisations (actually very much governmental non-governmental organisations and so forth. Like have you ever wondered why many of Malaysia's so-called "alternative media" or "independent media" are coy about revealing who their "investors" are?

The Free Malaysia Today article follows below:_  
      



GEORGE TOWN/KUALA LUMPUR: Most of us probably have difficulty remembering the last time we paid for and held a physical newspaper.

After all, with boundless free content at our fingertips, who needs to buy actual newspapers anymore? That's one of the great benefits of the digital age.

Yet it's not good news for traditional media who are struggling to adapt their business models to survive in the new electronic world.

Increasing numbers of skilled employees are the collateral damage of this unevenly matched battle between print and digital media. As hard copies disappear from the nation's trains, waiting rooms and office desks, thousands of workers are finding themselves redundant.

Ex-reporters who used to chase stories on the streets of Malaysia's cities now find themselves slogging along those same streets trying to find other jobs to survive.

They are the fallout from the decline of legacy print media in the digital age.

In the recent turmoil of Utusan Malaysia's on-again off-again attempts to survive, hundreds of journalists now find themselves out of a job.

They have to earn a living somehow. It's not unusual for ex-employees to run into each other peddling kitchen utensils or perfume from their car boots on the streets.

Life for Ali (not his real name) has changed for the worse since he was let go from Utusan after 17 years of service in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

The 38-year-old used to edit stories written by younger reporters, attend major press conferences, and cover PR events for the newspaper, earning a salary that paid for his housing, car instalments and the kind of life a young city-dweller leads. It was a responsible job that he enjoyed.

Today, Ali drives more than 12 hours a day, six days a week for two e-hailing companies just to keep his head above water.

He says his debts are rising as Utusan has not yet paid him his final two months' salary of RM10,000, leaving him with no option but to search for other sources of income.

"I had no choice but to move to KL as I can't make as much money as a Grab driver in Penang. Here, I can make about RM1,000 in a good week," he told FMT.

And yet even in the capital he struggles. "Driving earns me barely enough to pay for my home and car and other expenses."

Another redundant Utusan reporter said many of his ex-colleagues now do odd jobs, such as selling food and Tupperware from their car boots on the street.

The 49-year-old ex-reporter, who wanted to be known only as Mohamad, said he was lucky, because after much searching he has finally managed to land a job as a writer at a marketing and event management company.

"A friend told me about the opening. If not, I would be driving for an e-hailing company right now," he said.

"Some of my ex-colleagues are selling perfume on the streets, kaki lima. Others have become runners and unit trust or insurance agents. It's hard to find a job, and even if you can, the pay is too low."

For the lucky older ones with a good career behind them, the future is not so bleak.

A 55-year-old ex-member of the editorial staff of another English daily, who left through a mutual separation scheme in 2017, said he's happy that he got out of journalism.

For one thing, he is now able to catch up on his travel ambitions.

He plans to continue writing, albeit not for newspapers anymore.

"I'm enjoying my retirement," he told FMT. "Since I left I'm travelling more often as that's my other passion besides writing."

Younger ex-employees are less enthusiastic about being out on the streets job hunting.

And Utusan's cast-outs are not alone in their woes.

On Friday, a major media group which operates several Malaysian television, radio and print businesses is to lay off an estimated 600 newspaper workers as part of its restructuring and downsizing. Over half of those affected are journalists.

As shares tumble ever faster in traditional media companies, what was once a career with lifelong prospects is looking increasingly shaky.

The news industry's traditional printing presses have now mostly ceased their clatter for good.

Ex-reporter Mohamad puts it like this: "For many of us, if we were offered a chance to go back to Utusan, we would have to think about it very carefully. The future of print media is very bleak."


Yours truly

IT.Scheiss

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

600 MEDIA WORKERS TO LOSE JOBS BY FRIDAY (13 DECEMBER 2019), THOUSANDS MORE BY Q1 2020

Free Malaysia Today of 11 December 2019 reports that 600 media workers would be out of work by the end of this week - i.e. Friday the 13th 2019, according to an un-named source within the media company.





Whilst Free Malaysia Today did not explicitly identify the media company affected, the caption to a photo included hints that it is the Malay language Utusan Malaysia, a controversial publication said to have strong links or leanings to the United Malaysia National Organisation (UMNO), the dominant political party in the Barisan Nasional coalition which lost the general elections on 9 May 2018.

However, despite the political leanings of the publication - presumably Utusan Malaysia - this supposed loss of 600 media jobs by the end of this week is a blow to the lives of these media workers and their families, and given the dire straits most media in Malaysia and elsewhere are in today, whether print, online, digital or combination of all three platforms and I don't expect that it will be easy for them to find work with media which are still surviving, when the Berjaya Media Berhad (BJMEDIA), which owns The Sun newspaper, is currently classified amongst 22 PN17 (Practice Note 17) on Bursa Malaysia (the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange).


Basically, Bursa Malaysia listed companies classified as PN17 are companies which are in distress and if they are unable to turn around and recover financially, they risk being de-liated.

Also, whilst still profitable, the Star Media Group reported a mere RM250,000 net profit due to owners of the parent in its 3rd Quarter 2019 financial report, compared to RM1.596 million net profit in Q3 2018. Also Star Media Group reported RM5.477 million combined net profit due to owners of the parent in the first nine months of 2019, down 61.3% from RM14.413 million in the first nine months of 2018.

Star Media Group looks like the Titanic as it increasingly took on water and settled lower and lower above the surface until it finally slipped below the waves, unless the management can magically plug the leak and turn around the company in time before the "Titanic" goes down.


So with the media in such dire straits in Malaysia today, it will be tough for those 600 to find work in currently surviving media, especially when more media workers are expected to join the ranks of the unemployed by the first quarter of 2020 - the Wawasan (Vision) 2020 year when Malaysia was supposed to have arrived in the "Exclusive Club of Developed Nations", with a knowledge-based, information-rich, high-income nation with a gross national income per capita of around RM64,000 per annum (or RM5,333 per month). However Vision 2020 has been postponed 10 years to Shared Property Vision 2030.

Free Malaysia Today's article follows below and it isn't pretty:-

Hundreds to lose jobs this week in latest media lay-off

FMT Reporters - December 11, 2019 11:42 AM

PETALING JAYA: Feathers have been ruffled among personnel at a flagship newspaper as a deadline nears for its owners to reveal a list of hundreds of staff to be axed this week, in the latest series of journalist lay-offs.

An internal source with the company, one of Malaysia's largest media-related groups, said some 600 workers would be axed this Friday in the latest retrenchment exercise, half of them from the print daily.

But it said the management had yet to engage with union representatives despite promising to do so in October.

"They have a deadline to come up with a retrenchment list. It's two days away, but unions were not engaged," the source told FMT.

"Labour laws stipulate that those who will be affected must be informed."

It is believed that the hundreds to lose their jobs this time cut across the board, and will have no choice or option to appeal when termination letters are served to them.

The retrenchments, if true, will come amid a spate of media company shutdowns and downsizing exercises in an industry which has seen thousands lose their jobs over the last three years.

On Oct 9, Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo! announced their final appearance at news stands nationwide after publisher Utusan Melayu Bhd went into liquidation.

Early last month, Media Prima, which owns the New Straits Times Press and a slew of television channels, announced job cuts affecting thousands of employees. It said this was part of a "restructuring exercise" to be completed by the first quarter of next year.


The main problem affecting media, not only in Malaysia but also worldwide has been the decline in advertising and circulation revenue as readership and advertising moves from print media to online and digital platforms and where print advertising revenue, whilst still considerable is declining at between eight and 10 times as fast as online and digital advertising revenue is rising, even for media which publishes on print, online and digital platforms. Also, where print platforms enjoyed a relatively exclusive access to advertisements and advertising revenue, once they go online and digital, they face stiff competition for advertising dollar from the likes of Google and Facebook, since the latter reach a much larger number of eyeballs than the online and digital platforms of even the best media organisation does, and with some specialist professional or industry exceptions, advertising is all about reaching the biggest mass audience.


The chart above, courtesy of the Newsppaper Association of America and the Carpe-Diem Blog, shows that newspaper advertising revenue in the U.S. (adjusted for inflation in 2014 dollars) grew steadily from US$50 billion in 1950 to a peak of US$67 billion around 1999, then plunged down to a total of US$19.98 (print + digital) in 2014. It also shows that Google's worldwide advertising revenue surpassed total US newspaper advertising revenue around 2009, whilst Facebook's advertising revenue surpassed US newspaper advertising revenue around 2014.

A developed economy, the U.S. was ahead of Malaysia in 1999, in terms of PC penetration and Internet access and like in Malaysia, Internet access in 1999 was still mostly over dialup connections and most cellular phones were mostly feature phones which supported slow, second-generation (2G) 114 Kbps (killobits per second) GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) data rates in Europe and most of Asia and 115 Kbps speeds of 2G IS-95B Code-division Multiple Access (CDMA) phones in the North America, Latin America and some Asian countries such as South Korea. 

Rather interestingly, whilst regarded as an American technology and industry standard developed by the U.S. company Qualcomm as CdmaOne, the theory of Code-division Multiple Access was developed and proposed in the Soviet Union in 1935 by Dmitry Vasiliyevich Ageev, a scientist, educator and radio engineer at the Leningrad Electrotechnical Institute of Communications, as part of his PhD thesis.

Anyway, historical aspects aside, feature phones, even today, are hardly the best devices to access news on. However, even by then, media access had already begun to move online sufficiently to begin to make an negative impact on media advertising revenue.

Telekom Malaysia launched Streamyx, its first broadband Internet service in 1999. Streamyx is based on ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line) technology which offered a "super fast" speed of 1 Mbps (megabits per second) to subscribers over the same metal wire-pair telephone line into homes and offices. Apart from speeds up to 20 times faster than dialup Internet which ties up the telephone line whilst in use and where users are charged for time connected, a Streamyx connection is always connected whilst the telephone can also be used at the same time. Also, Streamyx subscribers pay a flat monthly fee for the service. 

Then in March 2010, Telekom Malaysia launched its Unifi fibre Internet service which is even faster, whilst smartphones were increasingly being used mostly over faster 3G or 3.5G cellular data connections.

And, with 127.7% broadband penetration as of the 2nd quarter of 2019, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC/SKMM), over 99.3% of which are cellular broadband connections.


So now, Malaysians can access media reports, personal commentaries and videos anywhere in the world and mostly for free, so no more having to wait for the paper man to throw today's edition of the newspapers over the house gate or of of having to wait to watch the latest news on TV. Instead, if we want to find out how the 12th December general election campaigns are going in the U.K. and find out the outcome tomorrow (12th December 2019) night, or how Donald Trump's impeachment proceedings are progressing, we don't need to wait to read all about it the the Malaysian newspapers (whether print, online or digital), when we can access such news closer to where its happening long before it's reported in our local media, and for free.

Meanwhile, over in the U.S., media organisations have been retrenching workers by the thousands over the past several year.
  
On 15 July 2019, Business Insider US reported rather extensively and it isn't a pretty sight:-



Business Insider US or 15 July 2019 reports:-

3,000 people have lost their jobs so far this year in a media landslide

Benjamin Goggin, Business Insider US
July 15, 2019

    In the last month, layoffs hit have MAD Magazine, Pride Media, Quartz, and Meredith, bringing the total number of media layoffs in 2019 to over 3,000, according to Business Insider's tally.
    The latest cuts follow layoff announcements at BuzzFeed, Verizon, Vice Media, McClatchy, Machinima, and Gannett – the largest newspaper publisher in the US.
    It is estimated that between 2014 and 2017, some 5,000 media jobs were cut from the market.
    Read more stories like this on Business Insider.

The media industry continued to execute large cuts in June as MAD Magazine, Pride Media, and Meredith reduced headcounts.

The cuts followed large rounds of layoffs earlier in the year from companies including BuzzFeed, Verizon, and Vice Media.

The massive cuts so far this year represent a recent trend in media that has seen upstart companies and newspapers alike shrinking and disappearing.

Here are the media jobs that have been lost so far in 2019.

MAD Magazine: Around 10 jobs, July


MAD Magazine laid off around 10 staffers, according to one estimate given to INSIDER by someone close to the situation, amid news that the magazine would cease the production of original content.


Issue 10 will reportedly be the magazine's last issue including new material. The magazine will continue to honor existing subscriptions with issues featuring new covers and recycled material.


It's estimated that hundreds of freelancers will be affected.


Editors Casey Boyd and Dan Telfer were both affected by the layoffs, among other employees.


Jet and Ebony: 15 jobs; June and May


 The New York Post reported that at least 15 people were laid off at African-American focused magazines Jet and Ebony.

In May, seven staffers were laid off when parent-company Clear View Group told Ebony staffers that the print edition of the magazine was being suspended, according to the Post.

In June, eight Jet staffers were laid off shortly after Clear View Group told Jet employees that they couldn't pay them for the last pay period in May, according to the Post.

Quartz: 11 jobs; June and January

 Quartz, a publication that's focused on data-driven global coverage, laid off four employees in the UK in January and seven employees in June, according to reports from Digiday. The cuts were composed of business-side employees and members of the company's commercial team.

According to Digiday, Quartz is attempting to pivot its business model from making custom commercial content for clients to a subscription-based model.

Quartz's total headcount is reportedly down to 235 from 243 in January.

In July 2018, Quartz was acquired by Japanese media startup Uzabase, and was tasked with handling the company's mobile English-language business subscription service, according to the AP.

Quartz has had traffic struggles according to Comscore, whose data indicates a 50% dropoff in visitors following the publication's acquisition, Digiday reported.

Pride Media and Out Magazine: 10 jobs; June and February

 In June, during LGBT pride month, WWD reported that five employees at LGBT media group Pride Media were laid off after a year of drama surrounding payment and funding at the company. The cuts reportedly hit corporate Pride Media staff and Out Magazine editorial staffers.

Five other staffers at Out were reportedly cut in February.

The company, and Out Magazine in particular, had been facing criticism from its journalists who said they hadn't been paid for months.

Just days before the layoffs, Pride Media had received a cash injection from investors after months of promises, Vice News reported.

Meredith: 60 jobs, June 7

 The New York Post reported that magazine giant Meredith laid off around 1% of its workforce, 60 employees, in early June months after acquiring Time Inc.

The cuts were primarily at Entertainment Weekly and Traditional Home.

In September, the company laid off 200 people from a variety of lifestyle publications.

A Meredith spokesman told the Post that the cuts came amid "a lot of competition internally for ad dollars."

GateHouse Media: At least 219 jobs, May and January

 GateHouse Media, one of the largest local newspaper publishers in the United States, quietly laid off journalists in multiple large rounds throughout the year.

Business Insider confirmed there were at least 60 layoffs at various local newspapers owned by the company at the end of January. The layoffs focused on local sports reporters and photographers, some of whom had worked at their papers for over 30 years.

At the end of May, GateHouse reportedly laid off at least an additional 159 people at newspapers across the country, including reporters, editors, and other staff.

The cuts seemingly began after the $30 million acquisition of Schurz Communications Inc., which immediately resulted in 11 cut jobs at three publications in Maine and Indiana.

After first-quarter losses, other cuts began in May. When Business Insider inquired about the cuts, New Media CEO Mike Reed called them "immaterial." He later told Poynter that layoffs would only number around 10 people.

Reading Eagle: 6 jobs, May 23

Pennsylvania's regional daily newspaper the Reading Eagle announced that it was filing for bankruptcy in May 2019.

The same month, MNG Enterprises said that it would buy the paper and issued a warning that it could lay off all 221 employees, according to a state labor filing cited by The New York Post.

Later, however, a representative of the firm handling the sale of the company, Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, said, "We don't know how many people will be retained."

So far, only 6 people have fine laid off.

CNN: 100 jobs, May 6

 On May 6 it was reported that more than 100 employees at CNN took buyouts amid corporate restructuring efforts. The buyouts were offered to employees who had hit retirement age, with four weeks of pay for every year of service – potentially providing two years' worth of pay total, according to Deadline.

A CNN representative told Deadline that the buyouts were explicitly not related to layoffs, but the move comes as AT&T – which owns CNN – attempts to restructure billions in debt.

New Orleans Times-Picayune: 161 jobs, May 2

 In May, New Orleans' Times-Picayune was acquired by one of its competitors, The Advocate. All 161 employees of the Times-Picayune were laid off.

The Times-Picayune had long been the city's paper of record and had won numerous Pulitzer Prize awards for its reporting on Hurricane Katrina.

In 2012, the paper reduced its publication days to three days a week and put focus on its NOLA.com site. In 2013, the paper resumed daily publishing, but only after The Advocate swooped in and began publishing the New Orleans addition that would prove to be fatal competition for the paper.

G/O Media: 25 jobs, April 30

Despite G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller claiming he didn't anticipate layoffs after he joined the new conglomerate (which comprises Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion), the company laid off 25 people, or 6% of its staff, in late April, Variety reported. The cuts included top editors and veteran reporters.

Spanfeller said that despite the cuts he planned to hire above the original headcount by the end of 2019. In May, there were only five postings on Gizmodo Media Group's job site.

Circa News: 16 jobs, March 26

Sinclair Broadcast Group's Circa News shuttered on March 26, 2019, with the company citing challenges facing small publishers.

"While we see new business opportunities with digital video and OTT, they do not require the daily publishing of a website," Sinclair told The Washington Post.

Sinclair told the publication that 16 employees would be laid off, and 22 would be integrated into Sinclair's news team.

Circa started as a news app in 2012 and was shut down in 2015 after failing to find a large user base. Sinclair bought and relaunched the property later that year.

Red Deer Advocate: 25 jobs, March 26

 In late March, the CWA Canada media union announced that Alberta's local Red Deer Advocate, owned by Black Press Group, had laid off 26 staffers across the news and mail room.

Along with the cuts, Black Press announced it was shutting down the paper's weekly edition.

Digg: 2 jobs, March 26

Former tech legend turned new media company Digg.com laid off two editors in March, shrinking the number of employees to 10.

The staffers affected were the managing editor and the features editor, both of whom wrote and edited original content on the primarily aggregated site, indicating a refocusing on aggregation for the brand that in the last few years had branched out to publishing original writing and video.

The layoffs follow the sale of Digg in 2018 to ad-tech company BuySellAds, which cleaved off nearly half of the company.

In a statement to Business Insider, BuySellAds CEO said: "This does not mark the end of original content at Digg, nor does it hint at a major change in direction or strategy. We continue to believe in the publication just as much as the day we acquired it."

The Plain Dealer: 41 jobs, March 15

Cleveland's The Plain Dealer newspaper announced on March 15 that it would lay off 12 newsroom employees in addition to 29 previously announced layoffs scheduled for May. Editor George Rodrigue told union members by email that "since around 2001 newspaper advertising revenue has been plummeting."

The union has asked for the paper to wait until after an upcoming subscription drive to make the cuts and has vowed to fight them.

"This is a catastrophe for Cleveland and for local journalism," Guild unit chairman Ginger Christ said, according to Cleveland.com.

The 29 positions at stake are production jobs, which are being moved to a third-party factory that the paper is contracting. The additional 12 jobs are in the paper's news department.

First Look Media: 9 jobs, March 13

On March 13, First Look Media – the parent company of Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept and Laura Poitras' Field of Vision – laid off seven staff members and two contractors (4% of the group) across the company.

Three of those laid off were tasked with maintaining and securing the company's archive of materials leaked to Greenwald and Poitras by Edward Snowden. The Snowden archive was also shut down with the layoffs.

First Look Media CEO Michael Bloom told staffers that the company had decided to "focus on other editorial priorities" after mining the Snowden archive for five years, the Daily Beast reported.

Bloom continued: "It is our hope that Glenn and Laura are able to find a new partner – such as an academic institution or research facility – that will continue to report on and publish the documents in the archive consistent with the public interest."

New York Media: 32 jobs, March 11

New York Media, the family-held owner of New York Magazine, Vulture, and other properties, laid off 32 employees on March 11 as part of a restructuring. The cuts affected 16 full-time employees and 16 freelance or part-time workers, according to a statement from the company.

"The departments most especially affected include audience development/circulation, copy, fact, production, and video," the company said.

In November, the company announced that all its online content would go behind a paywall, which it said was part of the reason for the cuts.

"In some cases, the changes we are making reflect a need for new focus as we build out our digital subscription business; in others, they reflect an overdue integration of print and digital staff," read the statement.

Last year the company said it was considering a sale; this year its staff formed a union.

Metro: 3 jobs, March 7

On March 7, Philadelphia's Inquirer reported that three staffers in Philadelphia had been laid off from the free tabloid Metro, which also publishes in New York City and Boston, where there were also layoffs.

The team was told the news over the phone from a new executive team in New York, and were shell-shocked, according to The Inquirer. The paper is said to be refocusing on building readership among train and bus riders in the city.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 23 jobs, March 4

Fourteen people took voluntary buyouts at the legendary St. Louis Dispatch in March, following the paper's announcement in January that it would offer 15 buyouts and downsize offices.

In February, nine design, copy, and layout employees were laid off when the paper decided to outsource the work.

The Dispatch laid off five people in 2018 and had another round in 2015.

Canadian Living, Style at Home, Elle Canada: 28 staffers, February 19

On February 19, Canadian Living, Style at Home, and Elle Canada magazines, owned by Groupe TVA, cut as many as 28 staffers.

According to an email from the company's VP of communications to J-Source, the company will move the headquarters of Canadian Living and Style at Home from Toronto to Montreal as part of the restructuring.

The company said: "In the context of the magazine industry undergoing numerous worldwide changes, TVA Publications had to reconfigure its internal structure. This decision will allow TVA Publications to continue to offer its readers and its advertisers high-quality brands that perform well in Canada."

Canadian Living and Style at Home were acquired in 2014 by Groupe TVA, which also owns Les Publications Transcontinental-Hearst Inc. – the owner of Elle Canada and Elle Quebec, according to J-Source.

Machinima: 81 jobs, February 1

Machinima, what used to be one of the largest video producers online, announced that it was closing in statements to news outlets February 1.

"Machinima has ceased its remaining operations, which includes layoffs," a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, announcing that 81 jobs had been cut.

The company, which made gaming content for YouTube, was bought by WarnerMedia and housed under Otter Media in 2016 but stopped publishing material in January.

Otter Media announced that it had cut 10% of staff in December.

Vice Media: 250 jobs, February 1

The Hollywood Reporter first reported layoffs at Vice Media. According to the report, the Brooklyn-based media company will cut about 250 jobs across the company, with the aim of trimming down and helping the organization become profitable.

"Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks," CEO Nancy Dubuc wrote in an email to staff.

Vice Media will refocus around its TV production unit, its international news team, its digital properties, and its original TV content.

Staff members in the US who are unionized are set to receive payouts of their accumulated paid time off, 10 weeks of severance, and medical benefits.

The cuts were previewed in a Wall Street Journal report in November that said the company would cut staff in part because of audience attrition over the past three years.

The McClatchy Co.: 450 jobs, February 1

On February 1, The McClatchy Co., which owns properties such as the Miami Herald and the Kansas City Star, emailed staffers to announce that 450 employees would be offered voluntary buyouts as part of a "functional realignment," essentially signaling that the jobs have been marked out of the budget.

The news was first reported by the Miami New Times. It followed McClatchy's failed attempt to buy Tribune Publishing in 2018.

Verizon (Yahoo, AOL, HuffPost): 800 jobs, January 23

In late January it was reported that Verizon would cut 7% of its staff at its media companies (an estimated 800 people), which include Yahoo, AOL, and The Huffington Post.

"These were difficult decisions, and we will ensure that our colleagues are treated with respect and fairness, and given the support they need," Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said in a memo to staff.

It's estimated that 20 employees were laid off at HuffPost last Thursday, including opinion writers, political reporters, and others. Nearly 100 corporate Verizon employees were reportedly laid off in San Francisco.

The layoffs are in addition to the 10,400 employees that Verizon is looking to shed by the middle of 2019 as part of a buyout program announced in December.

Gannett: 400 jobs, January 23

Newspaper giant Gannett reportedly laid off journalists across the US the same day that Verizon's layoffs were reported, following a round of voluntary buyouts.

Gannett has been quiet about the layoffs, but Poynter reported on cuts that affected editors and senior journalists at local papers owned by Gannett in regions across the US. The New York Post reports that cuts affected as many as 400 people. In total, Gannett owns over 100 news entities.

The layoffs came after Alden Global Capital made a $1.3 billion hostile takeover bid to take control of the company, which it says it's reviewing.

BuzzFeed: 200 people, January 23

BuzzFeed announced last Wednesday it would lay off about 220 employees, slashing jobs in its news, LGBTQ, international, and other divisions.

The layoffs ruffled feathers among media watchers when employees working outside of California were not offered payouts for their accrued paid time off, a decision that was eventually reversed after BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti met with staff council and was called out on the publisher's own streaming show, AM2DM.

Laid-off BuzzFeed employees also received a notable amount of harassment from trolls online, NBC News reported.

In a memo published by Digiday on Tuesday, Peretti said the company would refocus its efforts on BuzzFeed Originals (home to quizzes and viral videos), commerce content, branded content, and branded production and publishing.

In 2018, BuzzFeed laid off its in-house podcasting team and restructured its advertising group.

Condé Nast: 10 jobs, January 10

Job cuts hit Condé Nast in January, quietly eliminating several positions across its properties.

Slate reported that on January 10, the day Condé Nast's Wired magazine moved onto a new floor of One World Trade Center, five employees were let go. In November, Wired cut five staffers devoted to its Snapchat channel.

WWD reported cuts also hit editors at Glamour and junior staff at GQ magazine.

In 2018, multiple executives left the company ahead of an unspecified number of layoffs on its digital side.

The Dallas Morning News: 43 jobs, January 7

The Dallas Morning News eliminated 43 jobs, according to the Columbia Journalism Review, half of them in the newsroom, on January 7. The cuts affected journalists who covered immigration, transportation, the environment, and the courts.

In a letter, publisher Grant Moise said the cuts would reduce costs and begin a refocusing of the paper. Moise said the editorial and opinion section would be merged, and arts coverage would be reduced.
For context, it's estimated that 5,000 journalism jobs disappeared between 2014 and 2017.

The cuts represent a seismic shift in the media landscape. According to the Pew Research Center, a total of 5,000 media jobs left the market between 2014 and 2017, including growth in the digital sector.


Also, Bloomberg of 1 July 2019 reported:-

business

Journalism Job Cuts Haven't Been This Bad Since the Recession

Reporters become bartenders and baristas while looking for work
By Gerry Smith
1 July 2019, 17:00 GMT+8

The news business is on pace for its worst job losses in a decade as about 3,000 people have been laid off or been offered buyouts in the first five months of this year.

The cuts have been widespread. Newspapers owned by Gannett and McClatchy, digital media companies like BuzzFeed and Vice Media, and the cable news channel CNN have all shed employees.

The level of attrition is the highest since 2009, when the industry saw 7,914 job cuts in the first five months of that year in the wake of the financial crisis, according to data compiled by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an outplacement and executive coaching firm.

The firm's tally is based on news reports of buyouts and layoffs, and includes downsizing at printing operations and advertising and tech executives at Verizon Media Group, home of HuffPost and Yahoo, which announced in January that it was laying off about 800 employees.

About 88,000 people worked in U.S. newsrooms in 2017, according to Pew Research Center.

With the U.S. unemployment rate the lowest since 1969, the journalism job market is one of the rare weak spots, said Andrew Challenger, the firm's vice president.

"In most industries, employers can't find enough people to fill the jobs they have open," he said. "In news, it has been the opposite story. And it seems to have been accelerating."

The cuts have created a competitive job market where the number of out-of-work journalists often exceeds the number of openings. When Bklyner, a local news site in Brooklyn, said in May it was looking for a new political reporter, 16 journalists emailed their resumes within a few hours, said Liena Zagare, Bklyner's editor and publisher. Many had prior work experience at national media outlets such as CNN, Reuters and New York Magazine.

"I was looking at my inbox like, 'Oh my goodness,'" Zagare said in an interview. "It was beyond what I've seen before ⁠— the kind of people looking to work for us and the speed that their applications were coming in. To me, it was incredibly depressing. It says something about this industry that we can't employ these people."
Bad News

U.S. newsroom jobs dropped 23% between 2008 and 2017


There are a few reasons for the job losses. Local newspapers have seen much of their advertising revenue vanish as readers move online. They've also struggled to attract many digital subscribers after past rounds of layoffs and buyouts eroded their quality. Digital media startups, funded by venture capitalists seeking growth, aggressively hired journalists then scaled back to focus on profitability. Almost everyone is struggling to compete with Facebook and Google, which accounted for three-fourths of U.S. online ads sales last year.


The job instability in online media is one reason for the wave of unionizing across the landscape. At Vox Media, home of websites like the Verge and Eater, a new union contract ensures that employees get a minimum of 11 weeks of severance pay if they get laid off.


In January, John Stanton, a former Washington bureau chief for BuzzFeed News, was one of about 250 people cut from the company. In June, he helped start a nonprofit called the Save Journalism Project, which calls attention to how tech giants like Facebook and Google are threatening newsrooms by dominating the online advertising market.


So far, the group has published op-eds in newspapers, launched an advertising campaign and flown a plane over a Google conference with a banner that read "#savelocalnews."


"We're trying to get our colleagues to speak up," Stanton said. "We need to protect ourselves or we're not going to have jobs."


Many BuzzFeed journalists who were laid off in January are still looking for full-time work, he said. Several are freelancing, in some cases writing 1,000-word articles that pay about $400 and take a week to complete. "The pay freelancers get is completely inadequate," Stanton said.


While tech giants are often blamed for the news industry's financial troubles, they have also become a destination for journalists who want to leave the field. Amazon is hiring editors to cover local crime news for a division of its security-focused doorbell, Ring. Facebook, Apple, Snapchat and Google have all hired journalists in recent years to work on their media-related initiatives.


The journalism job hunt can be particularly challenging between the coasts. Last year, Emma Roller, 30, took a buyout after working as a politics writer for the website Splinter, which was part of Univision's Gizmodo Media Group. She got married and moved from Washington to Chicago to be closer to family. But as she looked for a new job, she found many positions required that she live in New York, Washington or Los Angeles.


"All of media has become concentrated in three cities," said Roller, who now works part-time at an elementary school and as a barista at a coffee shop while freelancing. "I chose to move away from where journalism jobs are. But at the same time it's a structural problem."


"No one becomes a journalist to get rich."


Journalism schools say enrollment is up, despite the dark headlines about the industry, and they are adjusting their curriculum to prepare students for in-demand jobs. The University of Maryland expects 44 graduate journalism students this fall, up from 32 last year. The school has started requiring students take more audio reporting classes because "this generation seems to love podcasts," said Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.


Some news outlets are growing. The Los Angeles Times has added about 100 employees to its editorial staff since billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the newspaper last June. The Washington Post announced recently it is adding 10 people to its investigative team.


But for some journalists, even winning national awards is not enough to help make ends meet. More than two years ago, Chris Outcalt took a chance on a job at a startup that wanted to launch a technology news website. But the team was laid off before it got off the ground. So Outcalt began freelancing.


In June, Outcalt won a Livingston Award, a prestigious prize given to journalists under the age of 35. Yet he's still searching for a full-time job. In the meantime, he's started working part-time as a bartender at a craft brewery in Denver to help pay the bills.


"I'm often thinking about whether I'll be able to hang on until I find something a little more stable — something, say, that provides health insurance," Outcalt said. "Certainly no one becomes a journalist to get rich. But I also can't imagine there are that many people who would want to enter a challenging profession that also requires you to tend bar two nights a week."


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-01/journalism-layoffs-are-at-the-highest-level-since-last-recession


So there you go folks.


Would you want to become a journalist or would you want your children to become journalists, when either you or they could be retrenched mid-career with a car loan and house loan to pay off and children to support ???


How would you fancy riding a motorcycle taxi with GoJek or driving a taxi with Grab for a living ???


Some say that the media is going through a phase of Creative Destruction and that as opportunities disappear in older forms of media, new opportunities are emerging in newer and more sophisticated forms of media but are there enough of these new opportunities  to absorb all those displaced by the decline of older forms of media ???


I'll leave you to think about that.


Yours truly


IT.Scheiss

http://itsheiss.blogspot.com/