Second round of layoffs stuns

Wall Street Journal

(N.Y.) The Wall Street Journal, one of the very few newspapers in the world to have seemingly weathered the collapse of the print news industry, announced late last month, they would be laying off employees at international bureaus in Europe and Asia.

A union representative confirmed the layoffs to Bloomberg News on Jan. 31, but it is still unclear how many jobs will be cut. A spokeswoman for Dow Jones, a News Corp. subsidiary that owned the 127-year-old paper, told Bloomberg that they were not retreating from either news market.

“This is ongoing work as part of the WSJ 2020 program announced last year. We remain committed to covering the region and will continue to do so robustly,” the spokeswoman said.

The layoffs are the second round to occur at the paper in the past three months, said Timothy Martell, the executive director of the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees 1096

While almost all other American newspapers decided to give away news content on their websites during the early years of the internet, the Wall Street Journal maintained most of its news stories behind a firewall that only subscribers could access.

As a result, the vast majority of newspapers nationwide were largely unable to translate web-views into paid subscribers and the market for internet advertising has fallen well short of expectations of publishers.

In more recent times, many newspaper owners have installed some limit on the number of articles a reader can get for free and imposed a required subscription to further access.

The fact that the Wall Street Journal is now facing similar funding challenges is a bad sign for traditional print outlets.