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NASW expresses solidarity with journalists facing layoffs and job insecurity

Only five months in, 2023 has proven to be a year of layoffs and shrinking budgets, threatening science journalists and editors whose expertise is crucially important. The Board of the National Association of Science Writers expresses solidarity with these workers — and our deep concern about the threat these layoffs pose to quality journalism, science literacy, and an informed democracy.

Layoffs have hit online publications (Vice News, BuzzFeed News and FiveThirtyEight), radio (NPR), and print outlets (Washington Post, National Geographic), among others this year. Business acquisitions (Grid) have created stress and uncertainty among our colleagues about their professional futures. Other media outlets (Gawker, gal-dem, Catapult) have shuttered entirely.

To the workers affected by this round of layoffs and dwindling freelance budgets, and those still recovering from other impacts, we want you to know that such decisions do not reflect the quality of your work or what your labor deserves. We also remain steadfast in our belief that media organizations should value the critical role journalists play in a healthy society.

In an attempt to support science journalists facing a precarious media landscape, we have arranged a few offerings that may help NASW members and anyone looking to join our community:

  • Today, we are announcing our new Science Writers Roundtables virtual series, launching with three events on media industry layoffs and tips for journalists seeking support. This series will be open to anyone, including non-members, and will include virtual events on mental health, refreshing resumes, and pivoting to new types of work.
  • We offer a range of grants and fellowships — including diversity grants and travel fellowships — that may help with your next project.
  • NASW maintains an active job board (member access; recruiter access) that can benefit writers looking for full-time positions or freelancers seeking new opportunities;
  • We offer hardship rates to new and renewing members. If you cannot afford these lower rates but are interested in membership, please contact our director: director@nasw.org.
  • We will shortly be awarding our first Pivot Grants. The Pivot Grant program was launched in March to help our colleagues who have faced professional setbacks prepare for and adapt to new challenges and opportunities. As we evaluate the response to this program, we will look for additional ways to support the field.

Fellow science journalists: We stand in solidarity with you. You are valued. Your work matters.

Cassandra Willyard
NASW President
and the NASW Board

To reach the NASW Board, email president@nasw.org

Founded in 1934 with a mission to fight for the free flow of science news, NASW is an organization of ~2,500 professional journalists, authors, editors, producers, public information officers, students and people who write and produce material intended to inform the public about science, health, engineering, and technology. To learn more, visit www.nasw.org

May 10, 2023