Media Matters Announces Layoffs Amid Legal Battles

Media Matters Announces Layoffs Amid Legal Battles

Media Matters for America is an independent organization that works as a watchdog to ensure that journalism adheres to the established norms and ethics.

However, everything is not well in the organization and it has initiated a round of layoffs.

The President of the organization has cited shifting media landscape as well as its defense against legal action as the precipitating factor in this bout of layoffs.

Media Matters Launches Layoffs, Cites Legal Challenges as Key Factor

Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, said in a statement,

“We’re confronting a legal assault on multiple fronts and given how rapidly the media landscape is shifting, we need to be extremely intentional about how we allocate resources in order to stay effective. Nobody does what Media Matters does. So, we’re taking this action now to ensure that we are sustainable, sturdy and successful for whatever lies ahead.”

The troubles for the watchdog started when Elon Musk, the owner of X/Twitter, sued Media Matters last year.

The lawsuit alleged that the organization influenced the algorithms of the social media platform in such a way that racist images and provocative content appeared next to blue chip advertisements.

Elon Musk initiated the lawsuit after an exodus of major brands from Musk’s platform. Notwithstanding this, a lot of attention was also focused on Musk’s own amplification of antisemitic material.

Angelo Carusone, president of MMFA said,

“This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence. Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”

In another development Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton opened an investigation of Media Matters.

However, MMFA was granted a preliminary injunction to essentially halt the investigation by a federal judge last month, citing the First Amendment.

A spokesperson for the company said that the layoffs have affected dozens of staffers and they have turned to X/Twitter to post news of their layoffs.

One of those laid off was Katherine Abughazaleh, a senior video producer known as Kat Abu on X/Twitter, who wrote,

“Bad News: I’ve been laid off from @mmfa, along with a dozen colleagues. There’s a reason far-right billionaires attack Media Matters with armies of lawyers: They know how effective our work is, and it terrifies them (him).”

Another employee wrote

“After nearly four years of working at media matters, I got laid off. So if anyone is looking for researchers with video experience, drop a line,”.

Brendan Karet wrote”got laid off, lmk who wants research done,”

Media Matters was founded in 2004 by activist David Brock. 

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