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Jack Shafer: 'I'm part of a belt-tightening'

Jack Shafer (photo), Reuters’ widely-followed media critic and one of the journalists to lose their job in the agency’s latest round of lay-offs, bowed out with thanks “for 3-plus heavenly years”.

He announced his departure on Twitter with this tweet: Many thanks to all @Reuters for 3-plus heavenly years. As Stanley Kubrick once said, "The only problem is, what to do next.”

Shafer joined Reuters from US blog Slate in 2011 (where he had also been made redundant) in a flush of hires from US media ranging from big city newspapers to new media blogs. His occasionally sharp-edged and authoritative columns ranged from such topics as plagiarism to media moguls.

In interviews after announcing his departure, Shafer said: “I thought I was lucky at Slate, where they treated me like a prince. But at Reuters, they treated me like a king, and I had a great run. I don’t fit their game anymore, and I’m completely understanding of that. They’re treating me well on the way out. So there’s no reason for tears. It’s our business, right?”

He told another interviewer: “I’m fine. My philosophy is that the job belongs to the employer. When they want to do something else with the money, that’s their prerogative.”

To BuzzFeed News he said: “I’m part of a belt-tightening.”

To Capital: “There was never a better place that I’ve worked in my career than Reuters. If they decide that they want to do something else with their space and their money, God bless ‘em. They’ve been very good to me.” ■