POINTE CLAIRE, QC, Nov. 30, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA) and L'Association de la Presse Francophone (APF) are denouncing a deal between Canadian print giants Torstar Corp. and Postmedia Network Inc. to swap newspapers and shut them down, effectively eliminating local newspapers and monopolizing withering advertising markets.
This transaction, according to a Postmedia press release, will involve 41 community and daily newspapers, eliminating in its wake an estimated 291 jobs.
"Although this is not good news, and it's never easy to see print media close up shop while good people lose their jobs, it's important to remember what community newspapers stand for. Community media is vibrant, more important than ever, and continue to act as models for the future of real journalism," says Steve Bonspiel, QCNA President. "We tell our community's stories, highlight the accomplishments of our neighbours, and stand up for the truth through solid reporting and research. That will never change, but more and more we need the support of our communities and government to ensure our survival."
The announcement comes two short months after Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, focusing on Canada's cultural strategies, declared that the government's approach to Canada's newspaper industry is not to "bail out industry models that are no longer viable" adding that the Liberal government will instead support "innovation, experimentation and transition to digital."
It was a surprise to many, considering Joly had conducted a year-long consultation on how to overhaul Canada's cultural policies and strategies, particularly community newspapers. "It is deplorable to see so many English-speaking majority communities lose their newspapers.
The layoff of 291 employees will have serious repercussions on the information sector and the community vitality of the targeted regions," says Francis Sonier, APF President. "This situation should be a wake-up call for our governments, especially for minority community media that are even more vulnerable and just as important, if not essential, to enable all Canadians from official language communities to fully live in their language."
The Quebec Community Newspapers Association, founded in 1980, provides advocacy, government representation, marketing and promotion for 31 Quebec's English-written community newspapers and, among other things, highlights newspaper challenges in official language markets and provides possible solutions and establishes partnerships that will benefit members and the association. Our Newspapers reach 824,000 English-speaking Quebecers on a weekly basis.
SOURCE Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA)
For further information: For more information or interviews : Richard Tardif, Executive Director, Quebec Community Newspapers Association, 514-772-6360