Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Layoffs at L.A. Times, Sports Illustrated

☀️ Happy Thursday! The Briefing is your guide to the world of news and information. Sign up here!

In todays email:

  • Top story: Major layoffs at the L.A. Times and Sports Illustrated
  • New from Pew Research Center: Black Americans and the topics covered in the news
  • In other news: Condé Nast workers go on strike
  • Looking ahead: Podcast networks are testing AI for translation and ad sales
  • Chart of the week: Newspapers account for shrinking share of newsroom employment

🔥 Top story

Major layoffs happened across the news industry this week. The Los Angeles Times announced it would lay off 20% of its newsroom staff, with the newspaper’s union saying that young journalists who are Black, Hispanic, or Asian American or Pacific Islander were disproportionately affected. Additionally, Sports Illustrated told all staff members that their jobs were being eliminated after it lost its license to publish

Newsroom employment in the United States dropped by 26% between 2008 and 2020, according to our analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 114,000 newsroom employees in news industries to 85,000. The decline was especially steep for newspaper publishers like the L.A. Times.

🚨 New from Pew Research Center

A new Pew Research Center analysis looks at Black Americans’ views of the topics that are covered in the news.

Key findings include:

  • Fewer than half (40%) of Black Americans say that the issues and events most important to them are often covered in the outlets they get news from, compared with 54% of White Americans.
  • There is a wide range of issues that Black Americans want to keep up with. Half or more say it’s extremely or very important to them to follow news about health care and medicine (66%), crime (58%), economy and jobs (57%), or education and schools (54%).

The survey also asked Black Americans to share, in their own words, what topics they would like to see more coverage of in the news. Categorized results are in the appendix of this post.

📌 In other news

📅 Looking ahead

Major podcast networks such as Acast, iHeartMedia and Spotify are testing AI tools for translation, targeted ad sales and production assistance, aiming to extend their outreach to prospective clients and efficiently match podcasts to advertiser needs.

Podcast listening in the U.S. has increased steadily in recent years. Roughly half of U.S. adults say they have listened to a podcast in the past year, according to a 2022 Pew Research Center survey. And among adults under 30, about a third listen to podcasts at least a few times a week.

📊 Chart of the week

This week’s chart comes from our analysis of newsroom employment in 2020.

In 2008, a 62% majority of all U.S. newsroom employees worked for newspaper publishers. But by 2020, that share had dropped to 36%.

A bar chart showing the percent of newsroom employees in each news industry (digital-native, cable television, radio broadcasting, broadcast television, and newspaper publishers) in 2008, 2014, and 2020. The share of employees in newspaper publishers decreases over the timespan.

👋 That’s all for this week. 

The Briefing is compiled by Pew Research Center staff, including Naomi Forman-Katz, Jacob Liedke, Sarah Naseer, Christopher St. Aubin, Luxuan Wang and Emily Tomasik. It is edited by Katerina Eva Matsa, Michael Lipka and Mark Jurkowitz, and copy edited by Rebecca Leppert.

Do you like this newsletter? Email us at or fill out this two-question survey to tell us what you think.

Icon for promotion number 1

Sign up for The Briefing

Weekly updates on the world of news & information