Canadian journalists are going through difficult times in terms of employement.
Yesterday, Postmedia, Canada’s largest publisher of newspapers, cut 90 jobs as a result of merging newsrooms in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. Affected journalists have been sharing their thoughts on Twitter.
From the business perspective, this kind of move might be viewed as a ‘smart’ way of operating newspapers under one editorial team. Taking care of budgets in the middle of a delicate economy might make sense.
In reality, it’s not a smart move at all from the content perspective.
Less staff will not be able to sell more stories. Solid teams are required to report relevant information, gain credibility and, hence, keep generating revenue. The industry depends on journalists to make all these things happen.
Journalists are the essence of the business, and they’re constantly leaving the newsrooms due to cuts.
True. Postmedia must pay debts right when the Canadian dollar is struggling; therefore, it costs more money to pay. Burning question: why is it smarter to fire 90 people than cut executives who desperately need $1M in bonuses?
On Nov. 27, 2015, CBC news published an article that reported details on those bonuses. Postmedia’s priorities and visions are clearly stated: $400,000 for CEO Paul Godfrey and $25,000 for National Post president Gordon Fisher. They both made the company’s acquisition of the Sun possible. That’s why they deserved a prize.
How about storytelling? Isn’t that the core of the business?
Today, one of my instructors at SAIT asked us, journalism students, to stay optimistic. He said that we need to keep developping skills in order to deal with difficult times. No doubt that it’s important to stay fearless.
My thoughts are with the talented journalists that were affected. Remember, dear colleagues, readers will always have an appetite for stories well told.
Photo credit: Gabriele Forcina at unsplash.com