Following layoff, Jack Shafer tells journalists: ‘Always be looking’

In this week’s career chat, we talked with longtime media critic Jack Shafer, who has covered the media for about 25 years. Just last week, he was laid off from Slate.

Shafer, who said no audience questions were off-limits, answered questions about his reaction to the layoff, his next steps and whether there’s a future for journalists in print and new media.

“Sure there’s a future,” Shafer said. “Slate only laid off a few in what is a publication recession. If the car makers laid off an equal percentage, would we ask if the car industry had a future?”

He said that despite the layoff, he’s still enthusiastic about the media beat. “I have lots of enthusiasm for the press critic beat, which is different than the media beat, because it lets me tackle every subject under the sun: Politics, manners, culture, drugs, foreign policy, plagiarism, bogus trends, and much more,” Shafer wrote. “My beat is bigger than a Cadillac, wider than Wikipedia.”

His advice for journalists? “No matter how good your job is — and mine was great — you should always be looking for your next gig.”

You can replay the chat below to read everything Shafer had to say.

Mallary Tenore contributed to this report.

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