MTV hit up Twitter Tuesday with a chipper announcement that it has openings at MTV News for “social justice” and “issue-oriented” news writers. But instead of job applicants, on Twitter at least the company got harsh words from people who noted the fact that it fired several such writers just over a year ago.
@MTVNews is seeking contributors on social justice and issue-oriented news topics: #BLM, #LGBTQ, #meToo, #resist, #DACA, #midterms, #environment, #WomensRights, #GunControlNow, #politics, youth mental and sexual health, breaking news, and more. DM me for more info!” said Matthew Breen, Editorial Director at Logo and Interim lead at MTV News, on Twitter Tuesday.
Writer pals! @MTVNews is seeking contributors on social justice and issue-oriented news topics: #BLM, #LGBTQ, #meToo, #resist, #DACA, #midterms, #environment, #WomensRights, #GunControlNow, #politics, youth mental and sexual health, breaking news, and more. DM me for more info!
— Matthew Breen (@matbreen) July 10, 2018
But, in early 2016, MTV News rebranded as a socially conscious, issues-focused longform journalism hub, hiring a slew of heavy-hitters like Ana Marie Cox and Ira Madison III. Then a year and a half later, in June of 2017, MTV news was restructured and the entire newsroom fired in favor of “shifting resources into short-form video.”
The company said it happened because “we’re returning the editorial operation to its roots of amplifying the audiences’ voices.” Many people noted at the time that the decision came shortly after the newsroom unionized, though it should be noted MTV News never cited unionization as a factor.
A lot of users — many of them former MTV News employees who have since gone on to other employers — reminded Breen of those events after he tweeted about the job opening.
Read a sample of the reactions below.
I've got a bunch of pitches about media companies unionizing!
— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) July 12, 2018
you forgot #UnionStrong
— Emily Dindial (@emilydindial) July 11, 2018
Seeking social justice coverage! Oh but don't organize OR ELSE *drags finger across throat*
— Leah Beckmann (@leahbeckmann) July 11, 2018
Sorry, we’re all busy now.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) July 11, 2018
beat me to it
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 11, 2018
Y’all fired all the folks who could’ve written on these topics, tho
— Victoria M. Walker (@vikkie) July 11, 2018
— Ira (@ira) July 11, 2018
didn’t u just fire the best writers on these topics
— Robyn Kanner (@robynkanner) July 11, 2018
— Jason Bailey (@jasondashbailey) July 11, 2018
In what world would *anyone* who is at all qualified to write about these issues ever write for @MTVNews after what went down there?
— Robyn Pennacchia (@RobynElyse) July 12, 2018
— ʎɐzɐoɹq (@broazay) July 11, 2018