OTTAWA, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is deeply concerned about Postmedia's proposed acquisition of 175 English-language newspapers currently owned and operated by Sun Media. The $316-million sale would, if approved by the Competition Bureau, pose a direct threat to press freedom and the public's right to know across Canada.
If the sale is approved, Postmedia would own most Canadian daily newspapers outside of Quebec. The company would operate two daily newspapers in Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and Toronto—in addition to Vancouver, where Postmedia already owns both the Sun and the Province. The CAJ urges Postmedia not to shutter any newly acquired operations simply as a means of satisfying the bottom line.
"Cost-cutting has become the rule, not the exception, in newsrooms across Canada," says CAJ vice-president Nick Taylor-Vaisey. "We understand the ongoing challenges faced by publishers, but if this sale leads to smaller or shuttered newsrooms, it's a bad deal for Canadians. Fewer journalists anywhere means communities lose out on important stories they deserve to be told."
Postmedia hasn't indicated any pending layoffs or closures. But the CAJ remains concerned that concentrated media ownership only diminishes media diversity. "If one company can dictate editorial policy to most major newspapers, the absence of any competition threatens press freedom," says Taylor-Vaisey. "The public's right to know is more important than one company's desire to expand its operations, and a single owner means fewer competing voices."
The CAJ will make a submission to the Competition Bureau's ongoing review of today's sale.
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.
SOURCE: Canadian Association of Journalists
For further information: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ vice-president, 647-968-2393, firstname.lastname@example.org