Veteran Media Critic Jack Shafer Leaves Reuters

The columnist announces his departure Wednesday on Twitter

Last Updated: November 19, 2014 @ 7:33 PM

Media critic Jack Shafer has left Reuters. The opinionated columnist announced his departure on Wednesday through social media.

“Many thanks to all at Reuters for 3-plus heavenly years,” he tweeted. “As Stanley Kubrick once said, ‘The only problem is, what to do next.'”

Shafer didn’t tweet the reason for his departure, but according to media watchdog Poynter, the news agency let him go.

“I’m fine,” Shafer told Poynter. “My philosophy is that the job belongs to the employer,” he said. “When they want to do something else with the money, that’s their prerogative.”

BuzzFeed reported earlier on Wednesday that Reuters was in the process of slashing jobs, according to a memo sent from Reuters editor in chief Steve Adler to his staff, which they obtained.

“Staff members in areas that we are reducing will find opportunities in services that we are launching or expanding,” he wrote. “In some other instances, though, the moves will result in job cuts, a course of action that I know will be extremely difficult for those involved.”

Shafer joined the international news service in 2011 after being laid off at Slate, where he had run the “Press Box” column. The critic is renowned for his aggressive writing style and pointed criticism of modern media practices, including a take-no-prisoners stance on plagiarism.

“Plagiarism doesn’t offend me because it exploits the previous hard work of some enterprising writer — even though it does,” he wrote in 2011. “When you attribute passages to another writer, you’re likewise exploiting their work. But at least they receive psychic income from the citation. The quoted writer is enriched by the fact that their work has been acknowledged, that somebody might go back and read their work, and that their reputation is likely to rise because of the credit thrown their way.”

Shafer’s last published column — “You can’t build a better Internet out of red tape” — is a summary of his position on the ongoing net neutrality debate.

Shafer posted a cryptic tweet later on Wednesday, this time quoting Oscar Wilde. “To lose one job is a misfortune. To lose a second looks like carelessness,” he wrote.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.