CAJ disappointed in BellMedia cuts to long-form journalism

OTTAWA, Aug. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is disappointed to hear that BellMedia has decided to eliminate positions and decrease the number of episodes for its investigative newsmagazine show, W5.

CTV president Wendy Freeman confirmed the cuts to J-Source on Aug. 15. Seven contract positions – which include three producers, a film crew and editor – will be laid off and the number of shows in the upcoming season will be cut by 40%.

These cuts follow recent decisions that have eliminated journalist jobs at BellMedia-owned radio stations and within CTV News and led to the cancellation of other newsmagazine programs. The company also recently slashed hundreds of jobs at its specialty channels.

"These are financially challenging times for all media dealing with declining revenue from traditional forms of advertising. When does eliminating journalists' jobs start to reach the point where you can no longer produce a high-quality news and information program that's worth marketing?" CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said. "As one of CTV's only outlets for long-form journalism, the cuts to W5 will have an immediate impact on Canadians as fewer of our stories will be told."

The CAJ continues to be concerned about the state of the news media industry across Canada as each announcement of layoffs is made. Based on public announcements and confirmations alone, about 2,000 journalists have been laid off in Canada since the start of 2012.

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


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