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MTV News Slammed for Seeking ‘Social Justice’ Writers After Firing Them

The company laid off several writers last year

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.

“Writer pals! @MTVNews is seeking contributors on social justice and issue-oriented news topics: #BLM, #LGBTQ, , #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.

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.