Media Matters For America Undergoes Round Of Layoffs

Media Matters for America, the progressive watchdog journalism organization, underwent a round of layoffs today, as its president cited the shifting media landscape as well as its defense against legal action.

A spokesperson said that more than a dozen staffers were impacted. Staffers turned to X/Twitter to post news of their layoffs.

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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.”

Elon Musk, the owner of X/Twitter, sued Media Matters last year, alleging that the organization “manipulated the algorithms” of the social media platform so that racist images and incendiary content appeared next to blue chip advertisements. The lawsuit came amid an exodus of major brands from Musk’s platform, but there also had been attention paid to Musk’s own amplification of antisemitic material.

At the time, Carusone 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.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also opened an investigation of Media Matters, but a federal judge last month granted the organization a preliminary injunction to essentially halt the investigation, citing the First Amendment.

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).”

Media Matters was founded in 2004 by activist David Brock.

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