After a management and ownership change, the LA Weekly announced that they were laying off most of their production staff and would rely on the submissions from unpaid readers instead of paid employees. While the decision to layoff a majority of the publication’s staff seems like a horrible solution to the problem, readers hold some of the responsibility as well.
La Weekly, founded in 1978, is a weekly publication covering a variety of issues and topics in news. According to the publication’s website, LA Weekly “offers hard-hitting investigative stories, spirited criticism and provocative cultural coverage in America’s second-largest city.”
The site also states that LA Weekly is the nation’s mostly widely read alt-weekly publication with more than three million online viewers each month.
It’s no secret that layoffs aren’t easy, even for those who keep their jobs through the purging of employees. There is a lot of stress across a company that must perform mass layoffs.
An article in the Los Angeles Times by reporter Jim Puzzanghera reported that one-fifth of all workers were laid off across the nation from 2009-2014. Layoffs happen.
A lot of times, a lack of money results in the layoffs and that’s where the public comes in. We as readers need to continue to subscribe to our favorite publications.
If readership is up, the publication earns more money to support its production. If more people read the publication, local businesses and organizations will want to advertise with the publication, which raises additional revenue for the publication. If the publication receives more money in these key areas, this means more people are likely to read their publication.
If more people are reading and viewing the publication, the likelihood that someone will write a letter to the editor or community opinion column increases.
At the end of the day, the new management at LA Weekly handled the situation incorrectly and unprofessionally, but the issue’s roots stem far deeper than that.
Many people are boycotting LA Weekly after learning of the firings, but they should have been focused on supporting the publication before the firings came to fruition.