CAJ saddened by newspaper closures in B.C.

OTTAWA, July 6 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is disappointed by Black Press's decision to close four newspapers in British Columbia.

Black Press announced July 5 it will shut down four newly acquired newspapers in Prince Rupert, Quesnel, 100 Mile House and Nelson, whose paper is more than 100 years old. The newspapers were bought from Glacier Media last week and are in communities where Black Press already owns a newspaper. Black Press officials have cited economic conditions for the closures.

The CAJ is concerned about the livelihoods of more than 50 employees who will lose their jobs between now and Sept. 3. In addition, the residents of those four communities will suffer. They'll lose a voice that has kept them informed about their community and reflected their lives through local coverage.

"We're not ignorant of the challenging economic conditions that exist for media owners. But we're disappointed and saddened by this decision that will reduce the quantity and quality of journalism available to residents in these communities," CAJ president Mary Agnes Welch said. "People in these communities knew they could seek out several perspectives and several opinions on what was happening around them. Now they will get fewer perspectives and opinions."

The Canadian Association of Journalists is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists from all media, with more than 900 members across the country. The CAJ's main roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information: For further information: Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ President, 204-470-8862; John Dickins, CAJ Executive Director, 613-868-5442

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