Three cities lose valuable commuter news

OTTAWA, July 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists laments Star Media Group's decision to shutter Metro newspaper operations in three cities—Saskatoon, Regina and London, Ont.—where commuters will now have one fewer source of daily news. Twenty-five jobs, about nine per cent of Metro's workforce, will disappear.

John Cruickshank, SMG's president, told the Toronto Star Metro's executive team recommended the cuts. A Torstar spokesman said the three newspapers didn't attract enough advertising revenue. The Metro papers will "emphasize larger markets," which include Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

"Canada's largest markets are no doubt important places for commuter news, but any renewed focus on their success shouldn't come at the expense of smaller markets," said CAJ President Hugo Rodrigues. "Two prairie cities and a regional hub in Ontario lost local news outlets, and starting tomorrow, thousands of residents will be less informed. That's regrettable."

The CAJ continues to be concerned about the closure of news publications across Canada.

"Newspapers aren't generating the advertising revenue they once did. We understand the challenge that poses to bottom lines everywhere," said Rodrigues. "But every time a community loses a newspaper or a local newscast, vital stories go untold. We urge media owners to cease operations only as a last resort."

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

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SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information: Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president, 613-330-8396, hugo@caj.ca