Updated on June 19, 2012
‘Death of journalism’ greatly exaggerated? More on changes at the Sun and Province
My recent post about cuts at the Sun and The Province prompted a note from Province editor in chief Wayne Moriarty telling me my facts were wrong and a blog post by Sun columnist Jeff Lee saying I was only partially correct.
I offered Moriarty the opportunity to provide a reply for me to post unedited, but he has not yet done so.
Lee argues the changes do not amount to the “death of journalism.” Perhaps not, but the papers seem certainly what a friend of mine once termed “metabolically challenged.”
Another correspondent with excellent access to the facts, advises:
– about 70 mailers will lose their jobs when the company stops delivering flyers on July 15. Only 12 of them (regulars) will get relocation (severance) pay. The rest (subs) get no severance.
– two weeks ago everyone under Part A (the old Guild contract which covers newsrooms, sales, clerical etc.) was offered a buyout. There’s no telling how many will apply and who will ultimately leave. This will not be clear for at least another month.
– two weeks ago Postmedia announced that it was further centralizing editing functions for all its papers at its non-union Hamilton operation. This will mean that all non-local pages for all the Postmedia papers will be produced in Hamilton.
– a week ago the company gave the union six months notice under reorganization language that 35 positions in the two newsrooms would disappear. All but four of the people who hold these positions are guaranteed jobs going forward. The mostly likely job to be offered to those who stay is reporter, but the company could create new web positions etc.
– the library will be closed.
So we may find more reporters in the near term, not fewer. That’s good, and to the extent I suggested otherwise, I stand corrected.
My post was intended to shine a light on the changes reshaping journalism in this town, not to condemn those managing the changes or working in the new reality.
But I remain convinced that the outcome risks being much less than we have now, with editors actually resident in Vancouver consulting a local newsroom library.
A last point: I do my best to be factual and if there’s anyone out there who finds fault with the facts above, just let me know.