Quebec's weekly newspaper industry loses 20 voices

OTTAWA, Sept. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is saddened to learn of TC Transcontinental's decision to shutter 20 community news operations in Quebec and merge them with other offices it owns in those communities.

The decisions will roll out in the company's TC Media division and are the final step of the company's acquisition of 74 weekly newspapers from Sun Media Corp. which began in 2013. TC has stated that 80 people working in the now-closed publications will lose their jobs. The company's statement indicated many of the 20 publications that will no longer exist had only started operations since 2010.

"Consolidations and closure have become a regrettable decision of media owners in Canada whenever they decide to acquire additional publications," said CAJ President Hugo Rodrigues. "While from a business perspective TC Transcontinental's decisions reflect the desire to rationalize its costs in those markets where it acquired another newspaper, the reality on the ground is communities that saw new publications and voices added to their landscape are now seeing them extinguished."

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

Similar decisions have been made in recent years by media owners in Ontario and British Columbia where owners acquired competing publications within the markets where they had a presence and then consolidated and closed properties. This only further concentrates and consolidates ownership of media, which has a dramatic effect on the diversity of voices available to Canadians.

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.

www.caj.ca | www.facebook.com/CdnAssocJournalists | www.twitter.com/CAJ

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

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