CAJ concerned over Postmedia Network decision on Parliament Hill bureau

OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is once again concerned over a decision to lay off journalists at a Canadian media chain.

On Tuesday Postmedia Network confirmed it was laying off five journalists at its Parliamentary Bureau and merging it with an expanded political desk run by the Ottawa Citizen. The new political desk will maintain an existing office near Parliament Hill in Ottawa in addition to the Citizen's primary location outside the downtown core.

In addition, the chain is offering employees voluntary buyouts to reduce the overall size of its newsroom in Ottawa. This follows a decision late in 2013 to lay off journalists working within the chain's National Post's online operations in Toronto and close a call centre based in Calgary.

"The CAJ has some difficulty accepting that a chain that has repeatedly and effectively held our federal government to account with its coverage can continue to do so with fewer employees," CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. "These cuts, like the others that continue to happen at every Canadian media outlet, will only increase the challenges we face in bringing the highest quality of news and information that is vital to a healthy democracy to our audiences."

With this latest announcement, Canada's media companies have cut over 2,000 jobs across their operations since 2012. This tally is estimated based on the publicly announced cuts at media companies and doesn't include any unannounced losses.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing approximately 600 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information: Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president, 519-535-8680, hugo@caj.ca; www.caj.ca, www.facebook.com/CdnAssocJournalists, www.twitter.com/CdnAssocJourn