Newspaper Industry

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

Latest News

Unions at 5 Postmedia papers unite against draconian contract cuts - Leaders of CWA Canada and Unifor Locals at five newspapers that are bargaining new contracts with Postmedia have vowed to stand united against the company’s concession proposals. Postmedia wants unionized employees to accept draconian measures it imposed earlier this year on non-union staff. The company wants to freeze the Postmedia defined-benefit pension plan, slash its pension contribution to 3.0 per cent, reduce medical benefits, eliminate retiree benefits, and cut vacation entitlement, among other things. In a letter to members in Kingston, Montreal, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, and Windsor, CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said they need to understand why the company is going after their hard-won gains. “If this was a matter of helping the company survive, we would be happy to do our part and share the pain. But this is not about the survival of the company,” said O’Hanlon. “Postmedia papers are making money and the parent company reported a profit in its most recent financial statement. “This is about the company taking money away from you and your family to feed its predatory lenders and line the pockets of executives.” O’Hanlon said the unions “will take this message to the company and resume negotiations until new contracts are reached.” [...]
Any funding for newspapers must go to journalism, not executive bonuses - OTTAWA  – CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is calling on the federal government to ensure that any subsidies for newspapers go to creating journalism jobs, not to executive bonuses or hedge fund lenders. Today, News Media Canada, which represents the country’s print media industry, released a proposal calling for the creation of a government-financed Canadian Journalism Fund. It recommends a subsidy of 35 cents to newspapers and digital media companies for every dollar spent on journalism. CWA Canada supports aid for the news media industry but cautions that there must be a mechanism to ensure that any subsidy creates jobs and improves journalism. “Under the current proposal, there is nothing to stop companies like Postmedia from taking millions of dollars in taxpayer money and not creating a single job,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “We must ensure that any government subsidies go toward creating front-line journalism jobs and increasing quality civic journalism. They must not be used for executive bonuses, to feed hedge fund lenders, or to outsource jobs overseas.” Postmedia, which has cut over 3,000 jobs in the last decade, paid CEO Paul Godfrey and other top executives $2.3 million in “retention” bonuses last year. “Postmedia [...]
Report on ailing media industry proposes new funding model - A parliamentary report released today offers 20 recommendations to help the ailing media industry get through a period of major upheaval. A key proposal is the creation of a new government funding model that is platform agnostic and would support Canadian journalistic content. Another suggests leveling the playing field across all platforms so that foreign news aggregators such as Google and Facebook are subject to the same tax treatment as Canadian providers. Among the recommendations are a requirement that CBC eliminate advertising on its websites; allow media companies to deduct taxes on digital advertising on Canadian-owned platforms; and a tax credit for print outlets for digital investments. While CWA Canada supports aid for the print media industry, said President Martin O’Hanlon, “the devil is in the details.” “We must ensure that any government subsidies go toward creating front-line journalism jobs and increasing quality civic journalism,” O’Hanlon said. “They must not be used for executive bonuses or to feed hedge fund lenders as we worry would happen at Postmedia.” The heritage committee, chaired by Liberal MP Hedy Fry, also sought a five-per-cent tax on broadband internet services, with the revenues being directed into a media fund that would support the creation [...]
Ottawa Citizen, Sun staff vote yes to possible strike action - The Ottawa Newspaper Guild will head into conciliation talks with Postmedia on June 20 armed with a strong strike mandate. Members of the ONG, who work at The Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun, today voted 91 per cent in favour of striking if the company doesn’t back off its onerous demands that would gut the contract. It is seeking changes to pensions, job security, scheduling, benefits and sick leave. “We will not agree to any of these. That is why we asked for the strike vote,” said ONG President Debbie Cole. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, who attended today’s membership meeting, said the outcome of the vote was understandable. “At a certain point, you have to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ We’ve reached that point,” said O’Hanlon. “How can Postmedia justify trying to slash pensions and benefits for staff when it’s funneling tens of millions of dollars to its hedge-fund masters and giving $2.3-million in bonuses to its top executives? “It’s outrageous, immoral, and we won’t take it.” The CWA Canada Local, which represents 68 workers in Editorial, Reader Sales & Service, Financial Services and Building Maintenance at the merged papers, is well into a second year without [...]
Q&A: Edward Greenspon and NRC delegates - Edward Greenspon, CEO of the Public Policy Forum and author of its report The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age, delivered the keynote address and then participated in question-and-answer sessions with delegates to CWA Canada’s National Representative Council meeting in Montreal.                    

Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada

Offsite Insight

17.06.26 Canadaland – The Great Newspaper Bailout
17.06.20 Ryerson JRC – When rural newspapers fall prey to predatory ownership, local content goes fast
17.06.20 John Miller/rabble.ca – Government subsidies for reporters are a really bad idea
17.06.16 Financial Post – Newspaper publishers ask Ottawa for $350 million a year to save print journalism
17.06.06 Toronto Star – John Honderich, Andrew Coyne debate if government should step in to save journalism
17.06.05 J-Source – Coverage of the Local News conference at Ryerson University in Toronto June 3-4
17.03.10 Financial Post – Postmedia announces 54 layoffs at Vancouver Sun and Province subsidiary
17.03.09 Poynter – After punishing layoffs, New Jersey journalists start up their own local newspaper
17.03.06 Editor & Publisher – The Canadian newspaper industry is getting a new jolt of life
17.03.04 Globe and Mail – Torstar turns to a marketing guru as its new CEO
17.02.23 Globe and Mail – In the age of ‘fake news,’ media outlets turn to advertising to tout the importance of journalism
17.02.22 NewsGuild – Digital First Media workers launch campaign to fight attacks on journalism
17.02.07 HuffPo Canada – Liberals won’t bail out Canada’s news industry, sources say
17.01.27 Globe and Mail – How to fix the ever-weakening state of the news media
17.01.26 Toronto Star – Media cuts are a threat to Canadian democracy, new report warns
17.01.25 The Canadian Press – Report to offer ‘ideas’ for stemming crisis in Canada’s media sector: author
17.01.23 Policy Options – Canada’s local news ‘poverty’
17.01.13 Bloomberg TV – Postmedia CEO: Newspapers are worth trying to save

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