CAJ urges Toronto Star to preserve editorial jobs

OTTAWA, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is gravely concerned by word that the Toronto Star is exploring major cuts to its newsroom.

"This has been a terrible year, financially, for many newspapers and we recognize that companies need to cut costs to remain viable," said CAJ president Mary Agnes Welch. "But outsourcing copy editing and layout jobs could be bad for readers. We fear that quality will suffer.

"The Toronto Star is considering a plan that would see "some or all copy editing and pagination work" outsourced in "what is likely to be the biggest restructuring of the Star's workforce in its history," according to a memo from publisher John Cruickshank. The union that represents editorial staff says as many as 100 editing jobs may be done outside the paper's newsroom.

The move follows similar consolidation of editorial services by Quebecor and CanWest Global, which has centralized many editorial functions in Hamilton. Some American newspapers, such as the Miami Herald, have contracted out newsroom jobs to New Delhi, India.

Welch said copy editors, headline writers and paginators are critical to the creation of a newspaper that is accurate, independent and relevant to local readers.

"We urge the Toronto Star's management to ensure that it maintains a strong editorial staff to continue to deliver the high-quality journalism that its readers deserve, which is vital to a functioning, healthy democracy," Welch said.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists from all media, with about 1,100 members across the country. The CAJ provides high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information: For further information: President, Mary Agnes Welch - (204) 697-7590 or (204) 470-8862; Executive Director, John Dickins - (613) 526-8061 or (613) 868-5442

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