Cuttings #9: Make money, sack staff

It's the LinkedIn way. Plus more on the verification problems in Gaza and some great podcasts to listen to.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

LinkedIn makes bank — and sacks staff

This is indicative of the way things are in the tech companies right now: despite the fact that LinkedIn is making significant amounts of cash, it still laid off hundreds of staff. Sure, the site, which is part of Microsoft, might well have been over-staffed. But casting that many people out into a rough job market for tech workers feels cruel.

A shame, because LinkedIn has been one of the bright spots in the social media universe of late.

‘I’m shocked they bring in that much money’: LinkedIn hits record profits for 2023. So why did it just lay off 700 workers?
Redditors are blasting LinkedIn for laying off 700 workers despite reportedly raking in record profits this year.

The problem with news from Gaza

It has not been a good week for journalism, and especially for journalists making assumptions on air and on social media. In such a fraught political environment, jumping to conclusions as to what has happened, without good evidence, is just making a volatile situation even more explosive.

I'm no verification expert, so here's some reading about the challenges people working on this are facing:

Who’s Responsible for the Gaza Hospital Explosion? Here’s Why It’s Hard to Know What’s Real
A flood of false information, partisan narratives, and weaponized “fact-checking” has obscured efforts to find out who’s responsible for an explosion at a hospital in Gaza.
Fact-checkers and the social media misinformation tsunami: A Q&A with Lucas Graves - Poynter
One of the foremost chroniclers of the fact-checking community on the rise of online misinformation and how it has come to dominate the field

And lastly, John Burn-Murdoch has a great thread on why so many newsrooms are getting this wrong:

Thread by @jburnmurdoch on Thread Reader App
@jburnmurdoch: Some quick thoughts on why large parts of the mainstream media keep slipping up on Gaza/Israel (and why it was the same at times with Covid): The main reason is a failure to keep pace...…

Tune in

I feel slightly bad about this recommendation. Chris Sutcliffe, one of the hosts of Media Voices, is a reader here — and I'm about to recommend an episode of his podcast he's not on. Sorry, Chris.

But the replacement Chris, Chris Stone of the New Statesman, is an interesting guest. I was particularly interested on his thoughts on finding the right level of niche — and how some of their podcasts went too niche.

Good stuff.

The New Statesman’s Chris Stone on podcast and platform experiments
Chris Stone takes us through some of his boldest experiments with podcasts at the New Statesman, from consolidation to YouTube publishing.

This is a new podcast from Prospect featuring two of the most famous editors of the past 20 years. But I was interested because of the topic — but also the presence of friend Jo Geary and colleague Jane Martinson on it. Worth a commute listen.

Disinformation on X, and the power of the Telegraph’s Barclay brothers
Alan and Lionel speak to Joanna Geary about Twitter’s transformation into X, and Jane Martinson about her new book
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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.