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Laid-Off Journalists Release Ad Campaign Blaming Google, Facebook For Their Downfall

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A group of laid-off journalists is starting in ad campaign urging lawmakers to break up some of the largest social media companies in the country.

The Save Journalism Project, a group started of reporters who want to highlight big tech’s effect on the news industry, launched in June to show how Facebook and Google’s digital ad revenue has hollowed out news publishers. Their push comes as lawmakers forge an antitrust investigation into both companies’ business models.

“Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook have consumed approximately 60 percent of all digital ad revenue, making it difficult for even online news outlets with national reach to survive, let alone local ones,” John Stanton, a former DC bureau chief at BuzzFeed News, wrote Thursday in a statement announcing the campaign.

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He added: “Big Tech is killing journalism and must be stopped.”

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The digital ad notes that the news industry’s revenue dropped over the past ten years while Facebook and Google have grown as they absorb more ad revenue.

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Stanton was laid off in a round of cuts at BuzzFeed in 2018, the statement noted. He founded the group with help from Laura Bassett, herself a laid off Huffington Post reporter. Verizon Media, which owns Yahoo and the Huffington Post, slashed 800 jobs, or 7 percent, of its global workforce in 2019. Other media outlets followed suit.

Neither Stanton nor Bassett have disclosed where the money for their operation derives.

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