Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.
The Edmonton Journal’s darkest day - Editor’s note: CWA Canada represents workers at nine Postmedia dailies, including The Ottawa Citizen, The Gazette in Montreal and the Kingston Whig-Standard (as well as at the CBC, The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and many other media companies). While the newsroom at the Edmonton Journal has never been unionized, many current and former members once worked there or with someone who did.This powerful essay by Karen Booth was posted on her Facebook page this morning. She has given her permission for it to be published here. Those people she references have also granted permission for their full names to be used. KAREN BOOTH How fitting that the fifth anniversary of Black Tuesday, as it’s known in Canadian journalism circles, actually falls on a Tuesday. Much in my life has changed since then, virtually all of it for the better. But leaving it at that — jumping from beginning to end of this particular chapter of my life — doesn’t do justice to that grey and often ugly territory, the muddled middle. It glosses over the sadness, anger, fear, denial, soul-searching, and eventual gratitude and acceptance. In short, the stages of grief. After watching a steady stream of talented colleagues [...] Webinar assists in jump from journalism - It’s no secret that the number of places to practise journalism has been on the decline for years. Whether it’s newsroom numbers withering due to media owners’ cost cuts and pandemic-related layoffs or freelancers facing copyright-grabbing contracts, it’s not an easy profession in which to make a living. But journalism skills are eminently transferable to a number of different communications fields. The Canadian Freelance Guild (CFG), which is affiliated with CWA Canada, has assembled a panel of former journalists who have gone on to new careers. They will discuss, during a Zoom webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 7-8:30 p.m. ET, how they made the leap and how others can do it, too. (The Life After Journalism webinar is free for members of CFG, as well as CBC freelancers who are represented by the Canadian Media Guild. The cost is $15 for ‘Friends of CFG’, which includes CWA Canada members, and $25 for the general public.) The panel is to be moderated by Karen Tankard, a former CBC reporter who now makes her living as a digital campaigner, communications professional and educator. She founded the Canadian versions of Life After Journalism groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Panelists include: Lesley Pritchard [...] Locals’ campaigns emphasize importance of journalists, local news - Two CWA Canada Locals had a message they needed to get out to their communities struggling with a public health crisis so they turned to advertising to do just that. The Ottawa Newspaper Guild, which represents workers at The Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun and CTV Ottawa, devised a campaign that would emphasize the importance of local news and the journalists who deliver it. “These are unprecedented and difficult times for journalists like us and we wanted to let the community know that we … are doing our best to bring them the news they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re proud of the work we do,” the ONG said in a message to members. The campaign kicked off at the end of May with full-page ads in the two newspapers. That was followed by smaller ads placed on the papers’ websites. A TV spot, featuring video clips of journalists from the three news organizations, aired for two weeks on CTV Ottawa. The ONG took its inspiration from Local 30400, the Media and Communications Workers of Alberta. It had earlier placed ‘Local News Matters’ print ads in the two newspapers — the Red Deer Advocate and Medicine Hat News — [...] Heritage minister tells media union leaders he’s committed to helping news industry - Two media union leaders received assurances today from Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault that he will do what he can to help the news industry weather a financial crisis worsened by the pandemic. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon and Kim Trynacity, president of the CBC branch of the union’s largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild, laid out the case for urgent funding for news companies and special help for the public broadcaster in a 40-minute Zoom meeting. “It was a pleasure speaking with Minister Guilbeault. He fully understands the crisis facing the news industry and has committed to doing all he can to help,” O’Hanlon said. “We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the minister, to seeing funds begin to flow to news companies this summer, action to address precarious workers and greater diversity at the CBC, and legislation to make Facebook and Google share advertising revenue with Canadian content providers.” O’Hanlon said Guilbeault was asked to speed up access to the $595-million journalism support fund because “we desperately need money to begin flowing to news companies this summer to avert more layoffs and cost-cutting.” O’Hanlon said he also told the minister “we need specific, quick help for The Canadian Press, especially during the pandemic, given its [...] CWA Canada: Blaming unions for Postmedia job cuts ‘dishonest’ - Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod was “being misleading at best” when he blamed unions for the latest round of staff cuts, CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon says. In a memo to staff today, MacLeod said the company is going to cut 40 positions from its unionized ranks after CWA Canada and Unifor rejected a management proposal that workers earning over $60,000 a year take a temporary five-per-cent salary reduction. “Unfortunately … we were unable to find mutually agreeable common ground on alternative cost reduction measures,” MacLeod wrote. But O’Hanlon disputed MacLeod’s claims: “The company never really tried to negotiate with us in good faith. They presented the wage cut as the only option and they ignored our offer to buy ads to help support the company. We might also have been able to work out a job-saving arrangement like some of our Locals did.” The temporary wage cut would have saved about $100,000 from the CWA Canada members who earn over $60,000 at nine Postmedia newspapers. “We offered instead to buy $100,000 in ads in return for a two-year, no-layoff guarantee,” O’Hanlon said. “They never even had the decency to respond. So to try to blame the union is pretty disingenuous.” [...]
Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada
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?