Newspaper closings hurt journalism: Unifor

November 27, 2017

Toronto – The announced swap of several newspapers between two media giants, and the subsequent closing of several publications, is the natural result of the federal government’s failure to address the crisis in the industry, Canada’s media union says.

“The crisis in the newspaper industry will not be solved by making already-larger media companies even bigger and offering the public fewer journalistic voices,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Dias called on Heritage Minister Melanie Joly to immediately take strong action to address the crisis in the newspaper industry before more papers close.

“Minister Joly has been presented with many options for addressing the structural challenges facing newspapers in Canada. It is time to act,” Dias said.

Earlier today, Torstar and Postmedia announced that they are swapping several Ontario daily and community papers. Postmedia also announced that it is closing almost two dozen of the papers it is acquiring from Torstar.

Torstar is also closing several papers, including dailies the Barrie Examiner and the Orillia Packet and Times. Unifor represent journalists and other media workers at both chains.

Black Press and Glacier engaged in a similar swap of British Columbia publications in 2014, which also resulted in several titles closing.

“A thriving democracy requires a diversity of journalists’ voices. Today’s actions will quiet that diversity,” said Unifor Media director Howard Law.

Law said Unifor will be meeting with its members at affected papers, and with both companies, to discuss the change in ownership at several publications, as well as the closures, and the impact on its members and the communities.

Unifor represents 12,000 media workers across Canada, including about 4,000 journalists.