Steve Kean knows how to play hardball from his days as senior vice president of government affairs with the long defunct Enron corporation. Now, onContinue reading
Brian Cochrane’s byline is on an article about Site C published March 28 by The Tyee. The author is described as business manager of the InternationalContinue reading
PHOTOS: The Canadian newspaper industry celebrates the coming of tax subsidies from the federal government. Actual Canadian newspaper publishers may not appear exactly as illustratedContinue reading
PHOTOS: The Calgary Herald newsroom, back in the day. (Photo grabbed from Facebook, of course.) It’s quieter, nowadays. Below: Brodie Fenlon, managing editor of CBCNews.ca,Continue reading
There is an important article by Andrew Nikiforuk at The Tyee. He recaps work from various sources, in ways that are so indisputable that even the BC Liberal “Social Media Interns” and trolls have taken cover, at least in the first 75 comments. Perhaps…Continue reading
Another 90 dedicated journalists in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa lost their jobs Tuesday as cutthroat Publisher Paul Godfrey slashed away again in an effort to turn Postmedia into a profit-making business.
In a bizarre move, two competing papers will continue to be separate entities, but there will be one set of editors and most journalists will be shared.
|Paul Godfrey – CEO Postmedia Corp|
In Vancouver, the Sun and The Province will come under one roof. In Edmonton, the Journal and the Sun will come together; in Calgary, the Calgary Herald and the Sun; and in Ottawa, The Ottawa Citizen and the Sun.
This latest maneuver, in effect, reduces the four cities to print media monopolies. Even as weak as the original Postmedia and Sun papers were, they still competed with each other. Now the same editors will assign reporters from both papers.
Competition Bureau screwed up
This fiasco is possible because the Competition Bureau was wrong in allowing Postmedia to buy the Sun chain less than a year ago. Godfrey had promised the Bureau he would run two separate chains, but this hybrid arrangement clearly violates the spirt of Godfrey’s promise.
Godfrey’s likely last move to try to save his flagging empire will see him close one of the papers in each of the four cities. Look for this to happen within a year.
Postmedia is losing millions each year because of the collapse of newspaper advertising. Meanwhile, the papers have failed to make a successful move to the Internet. Postmedia, which is controlled by American hedge funds, is carrying a debt of $671-million.
Martin O’Hanlon, president of the Communications Workers of America, said “This is not because these papers aren’t making money, this is because Postmedia has a massive debt. “This money that they’re saving by laying people off is going to hedge fund managers in New York.”
If Godfrey cared about journalism he would have been out of the field long ago. Anyone of integrity interested in good journalism would not have stayed around to see these papers turned into shells of their former selves. Maybe it helps that Godfrey commands a large salary, is a multi-millionaire and that, as a prominent (yet failing) businessman he can strut around town as though he is important. In 2014, when the company lost $263.4-million, Godfrey’s income was $1.7-million.
Media experts talk about the day when someone will come up with a formula for quality media to hold its own on the Internet. We’ve been hearing this for 10 years.
Canadians deserve better
While local communities still rely on the shrivelled remains of the once proud broadsheet newspapers, our cities deserve much better. In addition to the problem of the cuts, corporate-owned media in Canada censors or ignores important news. Officialdom commands their full attention, while unions, the climate crisis, and family issues are pretty much ignored. All Canadian papers except The Toronto Star supported Harper values during his ruthless run in Ottawa.
Because of their systematic censorship and support for damaging neo-liberal policies, we should not weep over the decline of Postmedia newspapers. But communities and all levels of government better wake up and get involved in re-establishing credible media.
Firstly, there are about 10 small, independent news sites on the Internet, ranging from iPolitics, to The Tyee to rabble.ca. None of them reach very many Canadians. I’ve been telling them that if they want to really serve the public, they should amalgamate or co-operate in some way. Among them they employ about 20 journalists. I have fundraising experience, and I know money could be raised for such a project. Nothing has come from my suggestion.
By the way, I’ve developed a model that I think would allow a community-owned, Internet-based news organization to become self-sustaining. If anyone is interested, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve berated progressive, experienced journalist for not getting out of the mainstream media racket and helping operate or set up media groups to serve their communities. But they’ve been beaten down so badly they don’t have any spunk left, let alone demonstrate a social conscience.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is the one organization that could help lead Canadian journalism back from the wilderness. However, the CAJ has lost influence in recent years, and nothing on its website indicates it is concerned about the big picture of quality journalism in Canada being crippled.
If Canada were part of Europe, our mainstream media would probably be more healthy. Europeans read papers a lot more than Canadians. I recall a few years ago that the average Canadian read a daily newspaper once a week, while the average Dane read a paper every day. Those sales help cover more of the costs of European papers compared to fewer sales in Canada.
Some European governments, recognizing the importance of quality journalism, provide different forms of financial support for newspapers. Grants are either awarded to all papers or through a competitive process.
I’ve discussed this possibility of government support for media with Canadian friends, and most of them reject the idea. They say people wouldn’t want government interfering with our media. Hmmm . . . . it’s true that Harper interfered with the CBC but, even so, the CBC remains the best broadcaster in the country and it does a lot of socially responsible journalism.
Another 90 dedicated journalists in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa lost their jobs Tuesday as cutthroat Publisher Paul Godfrey slashed away again in an effortContinue reading
Another 90 dedicated journalists in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa lost their jobs Tuesday as cutthroat Publisher Paul Godfrey slashed away again in an effort to turn Postmedia into a profit-making business. In a bizarre move, two competi…Continue reading
Last evening my wife and I attended a talk given by Robert Fisk, the renowned British journalist who has lived in and covered the MiddleContinue reading
After a whirlwind of mockery on social media, MP Wai Young back-pedalled on some parts of her C-51 sermon… Article by Jeremy J. Nuttall for The TyeeContinue reading
A version of this article by our David Christopher was originally published by The Tyee, as part of a new series about Canada’s Privacy Plan For anyoneContinue reading
RossK writes about the Pro-Media Club and its implicit rulebook, which includes a requirement that no one reprove a colleague, even if overstatements and misrepresentationsContinue reading
Harry Smith is a man on a mission, one that should put disengaged Canadians to shame. The 92-year-old long-time activist, who splits his time betweenContinue reading
H/t Kat McNamara The Harper-led assault on our rights as Canadians continues, this time under the guise of Bill C-51, the new Anti-Terrorism Act. AndContinue reading
Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – The Tyee’s recent series on important sources of inequality is well worth a read, as Emily Fister interviewsContinue reading
Despite the best efforts of the ever-secretive Harper cabal, details about the CETA deal are finally emerging thanks to leaked portions of the text. AndContinue reading
The fallout over the recent attack over the heavy-handed firing of Saskatchewan University Professor Robert Buckingham is rapidly gathering momentum, especially in the academic andContinue reading
I wrote a piece on the very recent proposal to increase the minimum wage in British Columbia that was published over the weekend in The Tyee:Continue reading
At least it is so in Harperland. Recommend this PostContinue reading
Inspired by this headline: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/09/17/Canadian-Taxpayers-Federation-Accountability/Continue reading