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Sounds like a difficult day across Canada

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by RedCanuck, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    A lot of rumors are flying around about some major layoffs and job cuts today at daily newspapers up here. Postmedia bought the Sun chain last spring and it looks like now they may be merging some of their properties in some of the country's biggest cities and laying off staff.

    Here's a report from the Globe and Mail, which some friends who have worked at these newspapers have suggested barely scratches the surface of what they're expecting to see…


    Looks like a sad day for the profession and for readers looking for a diversity of reputable print and online voices.
  2. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    One that came across my Twitter feed:
    Eric KoreenVerified account‏@ekoreen
    As you will no doubt hear soon, Postmedia is making cuts today. I am one of them. It is a tremendous bummer.
  3. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    So, the latest update is 90 jobs gone and newsroom mergers in Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary where two competing newspapers will be managed by the same editorial leadership.
  4. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    Really bummed by these cuts. I feel like I know quite a few of these people rom following them on Twitter and I can't see how this does not create a void in local reporting.

    A couple of the reporters who got axed were great on the city hall and education beat, knew a lot of parents who followed and interacted with them.

  5. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Some excellent sports reporters:
    The aforementioned Eric Koreen.
    John MacKinnon, Edmonton Journal. 35 years of experience.
    George Johnson, Calgary Herald. Also with close to four decades of experience.
    Randy Sportak, Calgary Sun. Spoke to him tonight. Got the call in New Jersey, where he was working tonight's game between the Devils and the Flames. They gave him the option not to cover. He did it, anyways. Flying home tomorrow.
    John Lott, who's really good on baseball for The National Post, tweeted his work situation "had changed," which sounds like he'll be doing something different. Said he'd have an update tomorrow.
    No tweets from Joanne Ireland, who's covered the Oilers for the Journal, but some reports she is out too. Another terrific reporter.

    Awful day.
  6. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Ignorant question. Why have multiple papers been successful- until now- in the same markets in Canada when it is virtually unheard of in the United States. do people still pay for classified adds north of the border?
  7. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    John Lott did/does a great job on the Jays'/MLB beat.
  8. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    If they didn't take on the massive debt loads that many American papers did in the early 2000s, that would have bought them years of extra time.
  9. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Wondering how one desk handles two such different papers. Example: Calgary , where it's the traditional broadsheet Herald and the tabloid Sun and the Sunshine Girls. And aren't all a.m.s?
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  10. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    You do more with less, of course. Or work smarter, not harder. Or drink heavily. Maybe a combination.
    HanSenSE likes this.
  11. nickp

    nickp Member

    Canadian sportswriting losing two of the best -- George Johnson (Cal. Herald), John MacKinnon (Edm. Journal).
  12. Reg Dunlop

    Reg Dunlop New Member

    Forgive me for this, I don't know where else to go. This isn't some naive sob story, I've been part of decrepit industries before; I once worked at a video store (good luck explaining those things to our great-grandchildren.) I understand that some of you reading this have been laid off or seen entire newspapers go under at a moment's notice. I don't mean to equate my experience to yours; there's no one-upmanship at work here, just heartache and frustration, and this felt like the right place to vent.

    I'm a Postmedia employee and a 'survivor' of the ax that fell on so many of Canada's strongest, most dedicated journalists last week. The news didn't come as a shock -- journalists keep their ear to the ground -- but the scope and nature of the cuts surprised even the most cynical among us, particularly in Western Canada.

    Personally, it feels like a part of me has been carved out and will never be replaced. I currently work for the newspaper I grew up reading, and was fortunate enough to work alongside people whose photos and bylines were first seared into my memory back in elementary school. Leaning over the breakfast table, reading through milk rings in the newsprint, I fell in love with journalists and the stories they told. Today many of them are gone, leaving both silent desks and stories that will go untold.

    Our former editor-in-chief and managing editor are phenomenal, phenomenal people. They took bullets for me and everyone else in that newsroom, and consistently stood up for the best interests of both readers and the newspaper as a whole, refusing to cave to corporate interests. Trust me, prior to this job I'd never had a boss I couldn't loathe, but I wouldn't say a single bad word about either of my former bosses. Their journalistic integrity never waned, their commitment to a quality product never wavered.

    During my first week on the job, I met several co-workers who had worked at only one paper, getting their foot in the door as interns and working their way up over the course of two, three or four decades. I admit, at first I ignorantly looked down on some of those people. I mistakenly assumed they had never suffered in the 'trenches,' putting together pages at the Podunk Press in an operation smaller than a basketball roster. I was wrong. Their experience didn't make them inferior in any way; they honed their craft shoulder-to-shoulder with industry titans, seizing opportunities that I hadn't received. Eventually, they became colleagues that I both leaned on and looked up to.

    Many of those former co-worker are are now corporate casualties, decapitated by those who saw them as nothing more than impediments to a healthy bottom line. But we haven't just lost worker bees in an ever-diminishing hive, we've lost institutional knowledge, community champions, in-depth investigators, resident advocates, and devoted journalists who suffered through round after round of newsroom executions until the hangman's noose finally encircled their neck.

    'Disheartening' is the best way to describe the current working conditions. I walk to my desk through a hallway lined with the accolades of award-winning journalists whose bylines have vanished, either voluntarily or involuntarily. I try to stay invisible, doing my job as best I can and refusing to crumble under the weight of my own guilty conscience and crippling disappointment.

    I didn't have any appreciation for survivor's remorse 10 days ago. I had always figured it was just some crybaby notion that bleeding hearts subscribed to, but I know it well right now. I'm working for a newspaper that will never, ever be what it once was, but will keep trudging along because the brand carries so much weight. It won't carry that weight two or five or 10 years from now. It feels like I'm working at a Baskin-Robbins that recently cut back from 31 flavours to three, without any concern for either consumers, employees, or the long-term ramifications. I don't know what the future holds, but clinging to this dream has never been harder or felt more futile.
    ChrisLong and Bronco77 like this.
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