Largest ever study of Canadian media sheds light on state of journalism



    VANCOUVER, B.C., June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Journalism is a dangerous
occupation, according to a new study released today by Canada's largest media
union.
    More than 80% of TV camera operators and half of broadcast reporters who
completed the survey said they have been assaulted or threatened with injury
at least once while doing their current job. In the print sector, more than
75% of photographers and almost 30% of reporters said they been assaulted or
threatened with injury. Of those who reported assaults or threats, more than
20% said it had happened three or more times. Almost half of TV camera
operators and slightly more than 20% of photographers also reported suffering
a physical injury in their current job that caused them to take time off work.
    The study also revealed a strong desire for an independent code of ethics
for the news media. More than 86% said they want owners, management and
working journalists to agree on a code of ethics that everyone in the news
media should follow.
    The study was conducted by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers
Union of Canada, with input from researchers at McMaster and Ryerson
universities, who developed a questionnaire that was distributed by the union
to broadcast and print newsrooms represented by the CEP. These include most
private English language television stations, four of the top-five circulation
English daily newspapers, dozens of other daily and weekly newspapers, a few
radio stations and one mass circulation newsmagazine. More than 850 reporters,
print and broadcast editors, camera operators and photographers, producers,
announcers, and others who gather and package the news, completed the
questionnaire.
    It is the largest survey of its kind ever conducted in the
privately-owned Canadian media.

    Among other highlights:

    
    - More than 77% said promotional considerations influence the news agenda
      and 58% reported being assigned a story to promote
      paper/station/management.

    - More than 95% said their job is essential to democracy, though many
      question the commitment to quality journalism of the corporations they
      work for.

    - Almost 70% of the journalists who completed a lengthy questionnaire
      disagreed with the statement that "the corporate owners of this
      publication/station value good journalism over profit." Almost one-
      third disagreed with the statement that "the corporate owners of this
      publication/station respect journalists." Among print journalists
      44% disagreed and only 28% agreed with the statement.
    

    A pdf of the Canadian Media Study is available at www.cep.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Peter Murdoch, Vice-President, Media,
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada: (613) 230-5800, ext.
249; (905) 516-5720 (cell) or Gary Engler, CEP member, (604) 258-2700

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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