Empire building hurts journalism in Atlantic Canada

HALIFAX, April 13, 2017 /CNW/ - The sale of a chain of newspapers in Atlantic Canada is a blow to quality journalism across the region and adds to an already dangerous level of corporate concentration in Canada's media industry, Unifor says.

"Unifor is very concerned about corporate concentration in media and its impact on quality journalism in Canada," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said. "We need a diversity of voices in our media. Having one company control so many outlets across four provinces is a step in the wrong direction."

Unifor Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne said Unifor is closely monitoring the situation, including any impact on its members and working conditions, and will be seeking meetings with the new owners. 

"We will defend high quality journalism and local news," said Payne, a former journalist and current biweekly columnist with the St. John's Telegram, one of the papers sold in this morning's deal. "A strong democracy relies on quality journalism. We cannot tolerate any further threat to democracy."

Unifor represents about 80 journalists, printers and other media workers at the Telegram and two printing plants in the area. The Halifax Chronicle Herald, whose journalists have been on strike for more than a year, today purchased every Transcontinental news outlet across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador. The striking Halifax workers are members of CWA Canada.

"We stand in solidarity with the Herald workers on strike," Payne said.

Unifor is Canada's top media union, with more than 315,000 members, including 12,000 journalists and media workers across Canada. It was founded Labour Day weekend in 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054

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