John Stanton Statement Regarding the Closing of the Youngstown Vindicator
WASHINGTON, DC — As Todd Franko, editor of the Vindicator, saliently noted regarding the closing of the Youngstown Vindicator after 150 years of publication: “This gentleman bought us a round, and from across the room, he bellowed, ‘Thank you for what you’ve done for us.’…Similar encounters happened Friday night at the downtown amphitheater and Saturday morning at breakfast. It’s echoing on Facebook as well, which is ironic because it’s Facebook that, in a way, created the revenue problem that led to Friday’s closure news. If you’re consistent readers of this space, the problem of our looming demise is not a new topic. The past several years, I’ve touched on it a few times per year in different ways, like explaining smaller sections and curling newspapers that have raised your ire.”
The following is a statement from John Stanton, former Buzzfeed DC bureau chief who was laid off in January, regarding the closure:
It’s a sad day for our community, our profession, and our country, as we’ve lost another local newspaper, this time the venerable Youngstown Vindicator. Especially in communities like Youngstown where political corruption and police brutality against black and brown people is rampant, a vibrant, free press is critical.
Todd Franko noted the culprit — Facebook and big tech, leaching from local press and draining revenue. Google and Facebook have consumed the digital landscape, and their hunger for more power continues to threaten local journalism. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that this is a critical issue, and it’s time for them to step in, reign in big tech, and save the journalism industry.