H-1B Visa Program Outsources Hundreds of Media Jobs Amid Massive U.S. Job Losses

American Newsroom
Bebeto Matthews/AP

Hundreds of American journalists, editors, computer experts, and videographers are being laid off from their jobs at HuffPost, Buzzfeed, Gannett, and Billboard Media, while those U.S. media jobs are being filled by cheap visa workers.

In 2018, for example, U.S.-based companies asked for visas to import 138 editors, 88 producers, 221 writers, six publishers, and 347 graphic designers, according to the MyVisaJobs.com website.

Companies are allowed to import H-1B visa workers without offering the jobs to Americans and are allowed to pay them far less than American graduates. Many of the visa workers are eager to work for very low wages because the American jobs get them out of their home countries and give them and their families a chance to win the hugely valuable prize of green cards.

In 2017, companies asked for temporary visas to import 222 editors, 95 producers, 237 writers, ten publishers, and 556 graphic designers, mostly for jobs in New York and California, according to the MyVisaJobs.com site

Companies also asked for visa workers to fill a variety of jobs which are often sought by people in the media industry. In 2018, they asked for 285 lecturers, 248 public relations experts, 41 advertising professionals, and 1,354 teachers. There are so any visa workers at U.S. universities that Americans’ wages have dropped to the point that many thousands of American “adjuncts” rely on welfare programs.

The outsourcing of these “arts” jobs is just part of the broader economic trend to outsource high tech middle class jobs. In fact, many media companies have already replaced American technology experts in their back offices with many visa workers. The discarded American technology experts flood into other sectors, including the overcrowded and underpaid media sector.

This massive backroom outsourcing has largely been ignored by reporters and editors — even though the number of white-collar visa workers in the United States has exploded to at least 1.5 million.

The vast scale of media outsourcing has been ignored by the U.S. media, even though it is taking place under their middle class investigative noses. In 2016, Breitbart reported on the media’s lax coverage of the program:

The University of Missouri is home to the Missouri School of Journalism, but from 2010 to 2015, the university hired 498 H-1Bs, including educators, life-science researchers and health-care specialists, plus economists, psychologists, database administrators, student advisors, marketing analysts, and information technology experts. Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism lies within a university that won 829 H-1Bs from 2010 to 2015, including educators and life-science researchers.

The issue has been closely covered by Breitbart News, but few progressive reporters have highlighted the massive levels of outsourcing, perhaps because many corporate parents of media companies use the H-1B program. For example, hundreds of media jobs are being cut at HuffPost, which is owned by Verizon. The parent company is also replacing thousands of American information technology experts with Indian visa workers supplied by an Indian firm, Infosys.

A search of HuffPost’s site for mention of the H-1B program shows a few good and insightful articles, but most headlines are pro-outsourcing:

Steve Bannon Blames Asians For Taking Silicon Valley Jobs From Blacks, Latinos

Should India’s Skilled Workers Worry About New US Visa Policies?

Immigrants Are The Hidden Lifeblood Of Indiana’s Economy

Buzzfeed’s tag for H-1B articles does not show any H-1B articles.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by the Dow Jones and Company which has asked for visas to import 142 technology experts from 2016 to 2018.

Gannett asked for visas to import 49 visa workers during the same period — and hired an India-based visa worker company named Cognizant to take over hundreds of additional jobs. Much of Gannett’s information technology backbone is being outsourced to Cognizant, according to a 2018 statement to the company’s employees, posted at TheLayoff.com:

Needless to say, this process will bring major change to our organization. While it will help us improve our efficiency and update our capabilities, it will also have impact on our people and our positions. Some positions will remain on the team for the duration of transition, some will remain beyond transition and for the foreseeable future, and still others will have an opportunity to transition to our partner. Our goal is to provide full clarity and detail to all team members in the first half of January.

In the meanwhile, I want to extend a special thank you for all the work you do every day in support of Gannett, our mission of journalism, and the critical role we play in so many communities around the country.

Amid the corporate cost cutting and outsourcing of many, many middle class technology jobs, media professionals prefer to lament their own futures. The Poynter Institute reported:

Another brutal day for journalism.

Gannett began slashing jobs all across the country Wednesday in a cost-cutting move that was anticipated even before the recent news that a hedge-fund company was planning to buy the chain.

The cuts were not minor.

At the Indianapolis Star, three journalists were laid off, including well-known columnist Tim Swarens. At the Knoxville (Tennessee) News Sentinel, University of Tennessee women’s basketball reporter Dan Fleser is out after more than 30 years in sports. The Tennessean cut three positions, including high school sports reporter Michael Murphy. Traci Bauer, executive editor of LoHud (New York), was let go.

Six were laid off at The Record in North Jersey after nine took an early retirement buyout earlier this month.

On and on it continued.

The establishment’s economic policy of using visa workers and legal and illegal migration to boost economic growth shifts enormous wealth from young people towards older people by flooding the market with cheap white-collar and blue-collar foreign labor.

That annual flood of roughly one million legal immigrants — as well as visa workers and illegal immigrants — spikes profits and Wall Street values by shrinking salaries for 150 million blue-collar and white-collar employees and especially wages for the four million young Americans who join the labor force each year.

The cheap labor policy widens wealth gaps, reduces high tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.

Immigration also steers investment and wealth away from towns in Heartland states because coastal investors can more easily hire and supervise the large immigrant populations who prefer to live in coastal cities. In turn, that coastal investment flow drives up coastal real estate prices and pushes poor U.S. Americans, including Latinos and blacks, out of prosperous cities such as Berkeley and Oakland.


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