On The Listening Post this week: Heralded as the future of the media, digital news outlets suffer a round of mass layoffs. Plus, the journalistic life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

BuzzFeed and the digital media bubble

It's been a bad couple of weeks for the digital news industry. More than 1,000 workers, many of them reporters, have lost their jobs at companies like BuzzFeed, Huff Post and Vice.

Just five years ago, these digital news outlets were seen as the future of journalism. But the layoffs suggest that the business model the companies all rely on, click-based advertising revenue, doesn't add up to a profitable bottom line.

Then there's the problematic reliance on Facebook and Google to distribute digital news content.

The two tech giants are eating up the bulk of digital ad revenues - leaving the BuzzFeeds of the world in roughly the same place as newspapers and other legacy news organisations before them - trying to find new models to make their businesses work.

Contributors

Keach Hagey - Media and tech reporter, Wall Street Journal
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen - Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Siva Vaidhyanathan - University of Virginia and author of Anti-Social Media
Mathew Ingram - Columbia Journalism Review

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Marcela Pizarro about the latest from Israel ahead of the elections in April: Benjamin Netanyahu gets his own TV channel.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Chronicle of a journalist untold

We think of Gabriel Garcia Marquez as a fiction writer - we think of magical realism. But he saw himself first and foremost as a journalist.

In fact, Garcia Marquez was thrown out of Colombia for his outspokenness - because ultimately, his form of journalism was unapologetically political - what today we might call advocacy journalism.

The Listening Post's Marcela Pizarro explores how Latin American literature meets journalism in the work, and legacy of, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Contributors

Juanita Leon - Director, La Silla Vacia
Jaime Abello - Director, New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation
Maria Jimena Duzan - Journalist, Semana

Source: Al Jazeera