Newspaper Industry

Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.

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Open letter to PM Justin Trudeau concerning the online hate and harassment of journalists - The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.Prime Minister of Canada80 Wellington StreetOttawa, ON, K1A 0A2 Delivered by email  Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, We are writing in relation to the increasing and alarming online hate and harassment targeting journalists and journalism as a profession. This is a global problem, which threatens not only the safety and well-being of journalists, but the proper functioning of democracy itself. Many countries are now working on plans to fight back. We are calling on Canadian police and policymakers to do the same.    For the most part, these attacks are aimed at racialized and female journalists who are experiencing an increasing number of targeted, vile threats of violence. The trend is clear. In a 2021 Ipsos survey of journalists, 72 per cent of respondents said they had experienced some form of online harassment. At the time, the CAJ co-signed a statement with many Canadian media organizations, affirming that “there can be no tolerance for hate and harassment of journalists or for incitement of attacks on journalists for doing their jobs.” Yet the problem grows. The volume and nature of the rhetoric in the recent string of attacks has caused many journalists, as well as their respective organizations, to fear for their [...]
Shooting the Messenger: a global survey on credibility attacks against reporters - A global survey is under way as part of an investigation into the harassment and credibility attacks journalists face, the likely sources of those attacks, and their impacts. The Global Reporting Centre, based at the University of British Columbia, is conducting the study — Shooting the Messenger: Credibility Attacks Against Journalists — in collaboration with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and with support from PEN Canada. Chris Tenove, lead researcher on the project, told PEN Canada they are looking at “efforts to threaten, discredit, harass, and otherwise undermine journalists globally when they are trying to do their jobs. … For years, CPJ has been tracking murders, disappearances, and jailings of journalists. Those blunt tactics continue, but they are now complemented by information campaigns against journalists. These might include spreading false claims about journalists or news outlets, making anonymous threats, or exposing private information about journalists and their family members, and these tactics are often paired with surveillance. Prominent journalists targeted in this way include Rana Ayyub in India, Ronan Farrow in the U.S., and Maria Ressa in the Philippines.” Working journalists over 18 years of age are encouraged to participate. The survey is available in English, French, Hindi, Portuguese [...]
CWA Canada: Online News Act ‘lacks safeguards’ - The Online News Act, which would compel tech titans to share advertising revenues with Canadian media outlets, has been welcomed by CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, but with some major caveats. Following a technical briefing on Bill C-18 after it was tabled in the House of Commons in early April, O’Hanlon said the Act would benefit media organizations, both private and public, including the CBC, which employs thousands of CWA Canada members. However, “we are concerned about a lack of safeguards on several important issues that we raised in our submission to the government last year,” he said. Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said Bill C-18 would require tech giants like Google and Facebook “to make fair commercial deals with outlets for the news and information that is shared on their platforms.” Media outlets of any size would be able to bargain collectively to level the playing field and have recourse to final offer arbitration. Online advertising revenues in Canada were almost $10 billion in 2020, with two digital platforms taking in 80 per cent of that. It’s a market imbalance the legislation aims to correct. Noting that almost 450 news outlets have closed since 2008 and a third of [...]
Wikipedia page CWA Canada seeks clarity on Postmedia plans for NB papers - President Martin O’Hanlon said CWA Canada has requested a meeting with Postmedia in the wake of its announced purchase of Irving-owned newspapers, which include three dailies at which the media union represents workers. Brunswick News owns all of the English-language print publications in the province — six weeklies plus The Daily Gleaner in Fredericton, Saint John Telegraph-Journal and the Moncton-based Times & Transcript. O’Hanlon said he wants Postmedia to clarify its plans and will be seeking assurances that it will improve the newspapers and hire more staff. “Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod says he looks forward to continuing the Brunswick News ‘legacy’,” O’Hanlon said. “Unfortunately, that legacy is diminished newsrooms and lack of resources.” “We will be pushing Postmedia to improve the newspapers, we will ensure employees’ rights are defended, and we will fight for a stronger collective agreement when it comes time for bargaining.” Toronto-based Postmedia, which already owns 120 titles, including 10 dailies at which CWA Canada represents workers, is the largest publisher in the country. Its acquisition of Brunswick News extends its reach from coast-to-coast, noted O’Hanlon. “Unfortunately, this is another blow to media diversity. It’s just replacing a provincial newspaper monopoly (Irving) with a national one.” David Arsenault, president of the Moncton Typographical [...]
Online hate is damaging journalists, democracy: report - The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) have released Poisoned Well, the troubling findings of an industry roundtable on journalists and online hate.  “Freedom of the press is integral to a healthy democracy,” says Natalie Turvey, CJF President and Executive Director. “The online abuse suffered by too many journalists today goes well beyond critical discourse and, in many cases, harms their safety and well-being in the workplace. This report is a call to action to our industry, government officials and the broader Canadian public.”  The CAJ and Carleton University held the roundtable on Oct. 21 in response to repeated instances of Canadian journalists, particularly women and racialized media, being targeted with online hate and harassment. Freedom to Report As the so-called truckers’ convoy drags on and disrupts, journalists and crews are once again being subjected to abusive treatment by those who now feel emboldened and entitled  to break free of the restrictive measures which have ensnared all of us for the past two years.   Commentary by Kim Trynacity, CBC Branch President, Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213)   Commissioned by the CJF, the report shares the findings of that roundtable with the broader public. [...]

Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada

Offsite Insight

19.03.12 Marc Edge | J-Source – How to fix Canada’s biggest media problem in one easy step
19.03.08 J-Source – Changes come to one of Atlantic Canada’s largest media companies
19.03.07 J-Source – A fourth-generation newspaper rides the waves of change
19.02.08 CanadaLand – Postmedia’s deep ties with the company Jeff Bezos has accused of extortion
19.01.26 Slate – The Crisis Facing American Journalism Did Not Start With the Internet
18.12.31 The Atlantic – The media’s post-advertising future is also its past
18.12.19 Policy Options – Funding for Canadian media: The who, why and how
18.12.13 National Observer – Press council comes down on Toronto Sun for ‘serious breach’ after false report about goats
18.12.11 National Public Radio – Local newspaper closures come with hefty price tag for residents
18.12.10 Toronto Star – Journalism too important to go the way of the video store
18.12.06 Media in Canada – Postmedia reduces print schedule for Northern papers
18.12.05 J-Source – Can digital journalism serve readers who can’t get online?
18.12.04 The Tyee – More fuel for investigation into Torstar, Postmedia newspaper swap
18.12.02 The Conversation – Nonprofit news: Lessons from south of the border
18.11.28 Halifax Examiner – Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey was paid $5 million in 2018, but says his company is so broke it needs public subsidies
18.11.23 National Post – Andrew Coyne: Liberals’ $600M aid package for news media will irrevocably politicize the press
18.11.23 The Globe and Mail – My small-town newspaper died a year ago. The community has been grieving ever since
18.03.11 Toronto Star – Serious journalism is vital to healthy democracy and requires support
18.03.04 John Longhurst – Turning Newspapers Into Charities: A New Model for the Future?

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