Google has fired dozens of staff in its news division this week, cutting approximately 40-45 jobs, CNBC reported. These layoffs are part of Google’s broader efforts to downsize in response to slower growth and uncertain economic conditions.
The specific positions impacted by these layoffs have not been detailed, but they seem to be affecting various teams within the news division, including engineering, product development, and sales. While a Google spokesperson confirmed the job cuts, they did not provide an exact number, noting that “hundreds of people” are still involved in working on Google’s news products, CNBC reported.
The spokesperson also stressed that Google remains committed to fostering a robust information ecosystem, with news being a part of their long-term investment. Nevertheless, these layoffs have raised concerns among some observers regarding Google’s dedication to news, especially given the increasing scrutiny the company faces regarding its role in addressing misinformation.
“We’re deeply committed to a vibrant information ecosystem, and news is a part of that long-term investment,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve made some internal changes to streamline our organization. A small number of employees were impacted. We’re supporting everyone with a transition period, outplacement services, and severance as they look for new opportunities at Google and beyond.”
The layoffs at Google News occur at a time when major online platforms are under pressure to provide accurate information on significant global issues, such as the Israel-Hamas conflict and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Some critics have accused Google and other platforms of not doing enough to combat the spread of misinformation and disinformation.
It’s still too early to determine the exact impact of these layoffs on Google’s news products or its commitment to journalism. However, they serve as a reminder of the challenges the news industry faces in the digital age.