Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.
Feds must take action to stop Postmedia destruction of local news - OTTAWA – CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is calling on the federal government to take action to block the latest destructive cuts at Postmedia. The company announced today that it is closing six newspapers in Ontario and Alberta, killing the print editions of three more, and cutting yet more staff to reduce its salary costs by 10 per cent. This continues a decade of self-cannibalization that has seen more than 3,000 jobs cut and many papers closed as Postmedia struggles with self-created debt and declining print ad revenues. “It’s clear that Postmedia exists solely to funnel money to its vulture fund lenders who keep the CEO in their pocket with big bonuses while journalism is an afterthought,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “This ‘let’s-do-more-with-less” plan has failed repeatedly as the company races to the bottom. The newspaper chain is collapsing, communities are being hurt, journalism is in steep decline, and it’s long past time for the government to do something.” CWA Canada is urging legislation or regulations to limit concentration of media ownership and to prevent destructive leveraged takeovers of important national companies. What makes today’s announcement even more outrageous is the fact that Postmedia gave top [...] Windsor Star workers get new contract, fight off Postmedia’s concession demands - Workers at the Windsor Star, who successfully fought off demands for major concessions, have voted to accept a new contract, setting the stage for deals at other Postmedia newspapers. A tentative agreement, reached Friday by a CWA Canada-Unifor joint bargaining council on behalf of three union locals at the paper, was put to a ratification vote on Sunday, with an overall thumbs-up of 91 per cent. The Windsor Typographical Union (CWA Canada Local 30553), which represents more than 100 employees in the mailroom, voted 84 per cent in favour of accepting the three-year contract that runs until May 2021. The same members had, in January, sent a clear message of defiance to Postmedia with a near-unanimous strike vote. The Windsor Local had vowed last year to stand together with their fellow union members at other Postmedia papers against concession demands that would have slashed health benefits and cut company pension contributions to three per cent from five per cent. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said the union is satisfied with the deal and happy it did not come to a strike or lockout. “While we didn’t make a lot of gains, we stood firm against deep concession demands and that [...] National Post newsroom staff lose bid to unionize by one vote - National Post newsroom staff in Toronto and Ottawa have narrowly lost their bid to unionize in order to fend off predations by Postmedia, the newspaper’s owner. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said that, after months of waiting for an Ontario Labour Relations Board ruling on challenged ballots, “we have lost the certification vote at the National Post by a razor-thin 32-31. We had a solid majority of cards signed, but lost votes to targeted buyouts and a management pressure campaign.” O’Hanlon said the media union is “obviously disappointed,” but respects the result and will continue to support staff at the National Post. The fact that a majority of staff at a conservative newspaper signed cards was “a huge success,” he said. It bodes well for next year, when the union would be allowed to start signing cards again. “We’ll be back,” he promised. Union drive at National Post a ‘hell-freezes-over moment’ Ruling on National Post union not expected until new year “Half the newsroom understands that the only way to protect wages, pensions and benefits — not to mention quality journalism — is to stand together, and it’s only matter of time before everyone realizes that,” O’Hanlon said. “It has been inspiring [...] How Ottawa should spend its $50 million to support local news - APRIL LINDGREN | The Conversation [~] There’s $50 million in federal government money on the table in Canada to support local journalism in the country’s under-served communities over the next five years. What’s the best way to spend it? Last month’s federal budget announcement is an acknowledgement that access to reliable, timely, relevant local news is a growing problem. Data from The Local News Map, a crowd-sourced tool that tracks changes to local media, shows that 244 local news outlets of all types have closed in 181 Canadian communities since 2008. Over the same period, only 75 new operations were launched. We are starting to hear about the consequences of what I call “local news poverty” — situations where the critical information needs of communities are not being met. When Postmedia and Torstar Corp. announced the closing of three dozen newspapers in late 2017, local mayors worried aloud about how to keep their citizenry informed. In Thunder Bay, Ont., a city churning with political scandal and racial tensions, the local newspaper at one point had no local reporter on staff to hold officials accountable. Wire copy and short items by the paper’s two photographers filled the pages. The federal government [...] CWA Canada hails Competition Bureau raid of Postmedia-Torstar, says feds should block newspaper swap deals - CWA Canada welcomes a federal investigation into November’s newspaper swap-and-close deal between Postmedia and Torstar, but worries it comes far too late to fix the damage done. “It’s nice to see the Competition Bureau finally barking, but it’s hard to imagine there will be much bite,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “The damage has been done, the papers are dead, and they’re not likely to be resurrected.” “But hopefully the bureau will surprise us and do something, including action to end these swap-and-close deals that have been disastrous for so many communities.” Agents of the bureau, accompanied by police, raided the Toronto headquarters of both companies Monday and executed search warrants. Commissioner John Pecman confirmed that the bureau “is investigating alleged anti-competitive conduct contrary to the conspiracy provisions of the Competition Act” as well as those governing mergers. The two publishers traded 41 newspapers — the majority of them in Ontario — and then shut most of them down, with a loss of almost 300 jobs. Many of the closures reduced or eliminated competition between the two companies in certain markets. Pecman said that, if the bureau determines there has been a violation of the Competition Act, “we will [...]
Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada
18.04.12 Ottawa Business Journal – Postmedia Q2 loss falls as cost cutting, tax credit offset lower revenue
18.04.02 The Canadian Press – Torstar hiring 20 reporters as it revamps Metro urban dailies
18.03.20 CAJ.ca – Pelham town officials cannot ignore local journalists
18.03.17 Denver Newspaper Guild – A Great State Deserves a Great Newspaper
18.03.15 The Colorado Independent – Littwin: Denver Post owners are not just laying off employees, they’re looting the public trust
18.03.15 The Washington Post – Is this strip-mining or journalism? ‘Sobs, gasps, expletives’ over latest Denver Post layoffs
18.03.14 The Voice – Town of Pelham cuts off communication with Voice of Pelham
18.03.12 CBC News – Competition Bureau searches Postmedia and Torstar offices in probe of newspaper deal
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?
18.03.02 iPolitics – Saving Canadian news media: Senate considers solutions for journalism, local news
18.03.01 Editor & Publisher – 10 Newspapers That Do It Right
18.02.28 NewsGuild-CWA – Journalists of Casper Star-Tribune make history; continue inspiring national trend
18.02.28 The Globe and Mail – Budget media provisions disappointing, industry says
18.02.28 Columbia Journalism Review – Canada pledges $50 million to local journalism. Will it help?
18.02.27 iPolitics.ca – Federal budget opens door to non-profit media models
18.02.27 iPolitics.ca – Government prolongs the agony for newspapers … just a bit
18.02.26 TheTyee.ca – The Case of Cox vs. Coyne / As publishers squabble with journalists over government subsidies, why should the public support financial assistance?
18.02.14 National Post – Andrew Coyne: Newspaper owners shamelessly pleading for cash only make bailouts look worse
18.02.13 J-Source.ca – Toronto Star putting internship programs on indefinite hiatus
18.02.09 J-Source.ca – A study in news poverty in Thunder Bay
18.02.02 Ryerson Journalism Research Centre – New survey investigates state of smaller-market newspapers in Canada
18.01.28 The Globe and Mail – Most Canadians support government funding for local media, poll finds
18.01.26 Toronto Star – John Honderich: We should all be very concerned by the crisis facing quality journalism
18.01.19 NewsGuild-CWA – L.A. Times workers vote overwhelmingly for union
18.01.16 The Conversation – Supreme Court ruling makes need for Competition Act reform urgent
17.12.10 The Globe and Mail – The Last Edition: The stories that go untold when a small town loses its newspaper
17.11.28 Globe and Mail – Our local newspapers didn’t have to die
17.10.17 Politico – What if the newspaper industry made a colossal mistake?