Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.
Media union hails Godfrey’s step down as Postmedia CEO - Media union CWA Canada, which represents staff at several Postmedia newspapers, welcomes the announcement that Paul Godfrey is stepping down as CEO. “It’s just a shame it didn’t happen years ago,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “It is not hyperbole to say that Godfrey has been a disaster for the newspaper industry in this country.” “Godfrey has presided over the destruction of a once-proud chain, laying off thousands of staff and leaving decimated newsrooms. It has been a nightmare for workers, bad for society, and damaging to our democracy. “Especially galling is the fact that Godfrey took a huge raise last year, to $5 million, and funnelled millions more to Postmedia’s vulture fund owners, while demanding that staff take concessions on pension and benefits. Unfortunately, there is no indication that new CEO Andrew MacLeod will be any different.” It was under MacLeod, chief operating officer, that Postmedia moved last June to close six small-town newspapers, cut print publication of four more, and cut another 10 per cent of its workforce by the end of August. Although MacLeod is taking over the company’s helm, the 80-year-old Godfrey will remain as executive chair, according to Thursday’s announcement. It came as the company reported a $1.4-million net loss for the quarter [...] In a chilly year for the news business, union organizing is smoking hot - RICK EDMONDS | Poynter [~] Put 2018 in the rear view mirror ASAP for those trying to make money by doing journalism. Newspaper revenues are still sinking fast. Magazines are cutting, closing and changing hands. Nor are digital sites any longer up, up and away. The vagaries of publishing on Facebook and other platform giants are zapping them, too. And that’s not to mention Facebook, Google and Amazon’s cookie monster gobbling digital ad revenue. Cause and effect or not, the NewsGuild and Writers Guild, by contrast, are having a banner year for organizing and bargaining. NewsGuild president Bernie Lunzer assures me that lots more of the same is coming in 2019. Here is how fast the action has become: * The Daily Hampshire Gazette and Valley Advocate, owned by Newspapers of New England, voted 40 to 29 for representation Wednesday. * New York Magazine print and digital writers had 80 percent backing in petitioning for recognition Tuesday. Voluntary acceptance appears likely. * At Slate, journalists who are represented by the Writers Guild rather than the NewsGuild, authorized a strike (not the same as actually striking) Tuesday by a 52 to 1 vote. Two differences in the new wave of organization [...] Media union welcomes federal aid for news industry, but ‘devil is in the details’ - OTTAWA — CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, welcomes the federal government’s announcement of financial help for the news industry, but cautions that the devil will be in the details. Today’s announcement in the fall economic statement promises $595 million in tax credits and other incentives over five years, including a refundable tax credit for “labour costs associated with producing original news content.” It will also allow non-profit media organizations to apply for charitable status. Full details won’t be available until the next budget after the government consults with an “independent” panel from the journalism community. “We’re certainly pleased to see this badly needed help coming, especially the eligibility for charitable status,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “But we will need to see the details before we can fully endorse the package. We don’t want to see the money being used by companies like Postmedia to pay off their hedge fund masters or to further line the pockets of top executives, and we have told the government that.” In a shocking and shameless move, Postmedia, which has cut over 3,000 jobs in the last decade, had the gall to give CEO Paul Godfrey and other top executives a [...] Big win on health benefits for CWA Canada members in Kingston, North Bay - An arbitrator has upheld a ‘me too’ provision negotiated by CWA Canada that will see members who work at Postmedia newspapers in Kingston and North Bay get the same health benefits as their colleagues at the Windsor Star. “It’s a great win,” said national staff representative David Wilson, who led negotiations at the three Locals. “They’re going to get the Windsor plan as of Dec. 1.” The Windsor Typographical Union (Local 30553) successfully fought off demands for major concessions, reaching an agreement at strike deadline in May that saw them retain a benefits plan that was far superior to the Common Plan that Postmedia was attempting to impose company-wide. Wilson had, in 2017, led bargaining at the Kingston Whig Standard and at The Nugget in North Bay, both of which settled collective agreements that included the Common Plan but contained a ’me too’ clause that said they would get a “different” plan if a better one was negotiated by another CWA Canada Local. The company argued at a one-day hearing in September that the contract clause entitled unionized employees in Kingston and North Bay to an improved Common Plan, negotiated elsewhere, rather than a completely different one. Arbitrator Barry Stephens [...] Over 250 Canadian news media outlets have closed in last 10 years - H.G. WATSON | J-Source [~] Over the last 10 years, the number of media outlets in Canada has dwindled — and not enough new media outlets have sprung up to replace them. According to data collected by the Local News Research Project, using their crowdsourced Local News Map, over 250 Canadian news outlets have closed from 2008 to Oct. 1, 2018, either outright or through mergers with other media outlets. “The goal of the map is to provide some basic data on what is happening to local journalism outlets across the country – information we’ve never had before,” said April Lindgren, lead investigator of the Local News Research Project and professor at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, in an email to J-Source. “And of course the data points to trends. One trend is that local news outlets are shutting down at a much greater pace than new ones are appearing.” Read the whole article at J-Source.ca >>>
Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada
18.12.31 The Atlantic – The media’s post-advertising future is also its past
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
18.06.26 Toronto Star / CP – Postmedia to close more local newspapers, cut staff by 10 per cent
18.04.02 The Canadian Press – Torstar hiring 20 reporters as it revamps Metro urban dailies
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