It came as a shock to the digital news industry when more than 1,000 workers, many of them reporters, recently lost their jobs at companies like BuzzFeed, HuffPost and Vice.

Just five years ago, these digital news outlets were seen as the future of journalism. But the layoffs suggest that the business model on which the companies all rely, click-based advertising revenue, doesn’t allow them to pay for their newsrooms.

Then there’s the problematic reliance

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